Friday, May 23, 2003

BIG BIG Tax Cut:

George W Bush got his tax cut, only it was the 350 billion version, not the 726 billion one he was initially asking for in January, nor the modified(but definitely not "little bitty") 550 billion second version one he asked for in April. Is this good? The white house got a fairly steep reduction in the capital gains and dividend tax(to 15 per cent, the same as the income tax rate of the people who get zilch from GW's tax schemes). Previously the capital gains highest rate was 20 percent and divdends were taxed according to your income tax bracket, so they were as much as 38.6 per cent, so I'd say he got a pretty formidable gimme for regressive taxation.

Max Sawicky of Maxspeak points out that the numbers(350,550 billion, etc.) are largely meaningless because they are based on the deliberately unrealistic assumption that some of the taxes will be phased out at some point in the future, which will prove unlikely, or at least difficult to achieve without some legislative backbone, the lack of which arguably got us into our present predicament of Budget Busting for Rich Folks in the first place. Sawicky also points out that GW's tax policies have thus far shrunk the economy by over 2 million jobs lost and that for Bush's claims for GW's Tax Cut II to deliver, they will have to deliver over 300,000 new jobs a month between now and December 2004, instead of tens of thousands per month lost, as is presently the case.

( Liberal Oasis argues the second tax cut will help unelect Bush, because even if he didn't get the 726 billion he wanted, the White House has crowed in triumph and the bill will be seen as Dubya's.

I don't think you should count on it. The widely derided "appearing to do something" Rove strategy will work if the democrats don't appear to have anything positive and hopeful to offer in its stead. I just hope Dubya doesn't look to invade another essentially defenseless country in time for the Republican convention if the economy is still in the doldrums.)

Finally, see this Prospect article about George W. Bush's tax policies.