Washington Celebrates Tax Cuts for the Wealthy
While the unemployment rate jumps
Now, let's get one thing straight: this bill is not going to create jobs. And even if it did, it wouldn't create nearly as many jobs as have been lost during the first few years of the Bush administration. From Salon.com ("What the Bush tax cut could have bought"):
White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, for instance, said the new measure, which includes $330 billion in tax breaks over the next 10 years, would create "more than a million jobs." Many economists dispute Fleischer's analysis, but even if it turned out to be true, given the overall job loss during Bush's administration -- 2.7 million jobs in the private sector alone -- it would still leave us in the red, job-wise.
(New jobless claims are coming in at over 400,000 a week. And speaking of unemployment, a close friend just lost his copyediting job due to budget cuts. I don't suppose I have any New York City readers who work in publishing or journalism who know of any openings? Please?)
That Salon article also has a handy rundown of things those billions COULD have been spent on (instead of tax breaks on corporate dividends), such as: health care for the uninsured, education, ending homelessness, and so on.
But what are we getting instead? Cuts in taxes on dividends (which only apply to stock-holders). I have to say I was a bit confused by this quote from Bush (in the article about the cuts in today's Globe): "'Reducing the tax rate on dividends will also increase the wealth effect around America and will help our markets,' Bush said." What is this mysterious "wealth effect"? Is that like saying that if a poor person stands next to a really rich person, on AVERAGE they're both wealthy?
Oh, and the child tax credit for low-income families? Forget about it.
See also Bob Herbert in the NYTimes on the "Windfall for the Wealthy" bill, unemployment, and more ("Caught in the Squeeze").
Cartoons I vehemently disagree with department: Apparently, anyone who doesn't believe more tax cuts will rescue the economy has mad cow disease. (I might venture the opposite, except I think it's an overused metaphor).