Passing anecdotes and thoughts on politics, history, lit, sports or whatever...

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Tax Cuts

I hope you are all as enthused as I am about Bush's new tax cuts. While you would think that, as a good Christian, Bush is very concerned about struggling families with no health care surviving on Wallmart wages; he is not. Instead, Bush seems preoccupied with the top earners in America:

The bill, which was passed yesterday by the House and is expected to clear the Senate as early as today, has two main provisions. The first, and dearest to the hearts of President Bush and his allies in Congress, is an extension of the temporary low tax rates on investment income. The top 10 percent of income earners will get almost all of the benefits, and everyone else will get crumbs.

We all know how these upper income families struggle to get their children new BMW's and to pay outlandish tuition fees at Stanford. Perhaps this is just one benefit of Bush's tax cut preoccupation. Conservatives have been trying to dismantle the New Deal government of FDR since Reagan. By reducing the income of the federal government, they are left with no choice but to slash government programs. They would not touch the defense budget, even though it accounts for 50% of our budget. This conservative philosophy is known as "Starve the Beast." Amazingly, Wikipedia actually has an entry:

Starve-the-beast or choke-the-beast is a conservative political strategy which uses budget deficits to force future reductions in government expenditure, especially spending on socially progressive programs. The term "beast" is used to denote government and the social programs it funds, including publicly-funded health care, welfare, and educational financial aid, the implication being that expenditure on such programs, or the programs themselves, is wasteful or destructive.

It appears the earliest reference to "starving the beast" as a doctrine was made during the
Reagan administration by White House budget director David stagnant, to describe its fiscal philosophy.

A current example is the
tax cutting policy of the Bush administration in the United States. He said on 24 August 2001 "so we have the tax relief plan, which is important for fiscal stimulus, coupled with Social Security being off limits except for -- except for emergency. That now provides a new kind -- a fiscal straightjacket for Congress. And that's good for the taxpayers, and it's incredibly positive news if you're worried about a federal government that has been growing at a dramatic pace over the past eight years and it has been."
A well-known U.S. proponent of the strategy is Grover Norquist.

Conservatives have been upset for years that FDR's model has won out as opposed to radical free market solutions. After privatizing electricity in California, I would assume that we can all see some very troublesome aspects of privatizing. Infrastructure should function as not for profit. It is intended to provide for people, not create wealth for the protected oligarchic top 5% of the country.


At 9:18 AM, Blogger Logan Ryan Smith said...

you know, having a blog means updating more than ONCE a year!

At 2:41 PM, Blogger beth said...

I wholeheartedly agree.


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