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The Bush Economy
Bush Lies And Wins, You Lose

02.15.03
From Bush Watch, edited by Politex

The Senate...narrowly approved a $350 billion tax cut...The final bill passed 51 to 49, with three Democrats voting for it and three Republicans opposed... The Senate bill actually is more generous to corporations and investors than either the House-approved tax cut package or the president's original proposal...Investors who own shares in corporations that pay little or no federal taxes would pay no taxes at the corporate or individual level. "This kind of gives the lie to the argument that what this is all about is eliminating the double taxation of dividends," said Robert Greenstein, executive director of the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities....Senate Minority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (S.D.) said: "It's a starkly elitist tax break. The fortunate few will be able to shelter all their investment income, while working Americans will continue to pay taxes and shoulder the obligations of our nation."...

But the White House and its allies tenaciously pursued a dividend plan more to Bush's liking. It was added to the Senate bill by the narrowest margins last night, when Vice President Cheney cast the tie-breaking vote for a final 51 to 50 tally. Democrats mocked the vote, saying Cheney had in effect given himself a $107,000 tax break on his own dividend income....Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) -- had insisted that the tax bill's total cost not exceed $350 billion through 2013. Snowe opposed the new dividend plan, calling it a gimmick to mask the overall bill's true cost, because advocates acknowledge they have no intention of allowing the tax cut to expire in 2007....

Critics say the Senate bill is now $350 billion in name only, because the dividend plan, along with a major small-business tax cut and other provisions will never be allowed to expire, as the bill calls for. If those measures were extended until 2013, the bill's true cost would far exceed $660 billion, and could reach Bush's original $726 billion request, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. "It is a measure of how far fiscal discipline has slipped that the Senate would even consider such hocus-pocus in the wake of the Enron accounting scandal," said Robert Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, a budget watchdog group. --Washington Post, 05.16.03

The Bush deficit of $304 billion, the largest in history as well as the most precipitous, is pre-budget. With the new Bush budget in place, our deficit is $5.4 trillion over ten years. (Bush is back-loading the deficit so the entire economic penality of what he is doing will not be readily apparent until after he is out of office.) Paul Krugman suggests that we count on that post-budget deficit to increase by around $140 billion evey six months, and that's based upon past behavior and does not count the Bush war against Iraq: "Independent analysts, who take into account the stuff the administration pretends doesn't exist the war, the alternative minimum tax, and so on think we're looking at deficits of 3 or 4 percent of G.D.P., maybe more, for the next decade. And then it will get much worse." We know that a deficit such as that which is predicted could move our country into a depression in ten or so years. But as Bush said as he was leaving Texas for D.C. when told that the state was moving into deficit spending due to his ill-advised tax cuts, "That's not my problem."

Note: This was written in February, prior to any discussion of the new round of Bush tax cuts, so please add $.7 trillion in deficits to the previously-stated $5.4 trillion, adding up to a grand total of $6.1 trillion in deficits in ten years, all created by Bush to date. This does not include the added deficit spending based upon the new tax cut Bush has said he will propose next year, prior to the presidential election, according to a recent story in the Washington Post, nor does it include servicing of the debt, which will continue to grow each year as the deficit continues to increase. --Politex, 05.16.03

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