Saturday, May 13, 2006

WaPo Scolds Bu$hCo for Tax Policy Fantasy

Without even considering the radically unfair and perfectly insane tax legislation recently passed by the Rubber Stamp Congress, the WaPo wades into Bu$hCo "reality" with "Down Is Up : The White House taxes reality." Quouting Edward P. Lazear, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, and Katherine Baicker, a fellow council member, who wrote, in a May 8 Wall Street Journal op-ed column, the following:
"The president's tax cuts have made the tax code more progressive, which also narrows the difference in take-home earnings."
The WaPo is kind to simply label that as a "jaw dropper" yet they are known for the aversion to foul language, expecially from critics on the angry left. The do write,

Calculations by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center clearly show that the Bush tax cuts have expanded inequality, not narrowed it. People in the bottom fifth of the income spectrum have enjoyed a 0.4 percent increase in their after-tax income thanks to the tax cuts, but people in the top fifth have enjoyed a 3.8 percent increase. For the richest households, the gains have been still larger: The top 1 percent got a 5 percent raise courtesy of the tax cuts, and the top 0.1 percent got 5.9 percent. There's no ambiguity about it: The tax cuts widened the gap in take-home earnings.

The Lazear-Baicker article did acknowledge that high school dropouts have made no gains since 1980: Their wages fell by 3 percent. It might also have mentioned that this wasn't true only of high school dropouts: Wages for those in the bottom half of the income spectrum have fallen after adjustment for inflation. The failure of economic growth to generate gains for half of society is a serious worry. The administration needs to come at it with more serious analysis.

C Plus Augustus isn't interested in serious analysis. Nor is his cabal. They likely passed this most recent legislation out of fear that they'll lose the House and/or Senate this fall so it was "now or never". Wise policy be damned! Also, they hope Americans remain stupid and lazy enough to not be well informed about what these complicated policies involve. If they can convince the public of their old lie about being the party of low taxes that might get them a few votes. Of course there's always Diebold if they get in real jam. Peace ... or War!

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