Independent Christian Voice

Sunday

Next time you hear the prez or GOP saying their cutting taxes for the average American...

... just remember that, once again, it's more talk than walk. While everyone's eyes are focused on the heated rhetoric surrounding the Iraq war, the GOP is quietly working on passing more tax cuts. And like last time, unlike what they want you to believe, those who benefit most are those who need it the least. Edmund Andrews writes about it this way in today's New York Times:

DO House Republicans harbor some sort of deep rage against moderately affluent families with lots of children?

Maybe not, but take a close look at the $56 billion package of tax cuts that House leaders hope to pass before Christmas, and you have to wonder.

If it were to become law, any family with two or more children and an income of $100,000 ought to run for the hills.

Sift out dozens of nickel-and-dime provisions, and the essence of the House bill comes down to one provision that it includes and one that it omits.

What the bill includes is a two-year extension of President Bush's tax cuts for stock dividends and capital gains. Those provisions don't expire until the end of 2008, but the extension would cost $20 billion and is by far the most expensive provision in the House bill.

More striking is what the bill does not include: any provision to prevent a surge in the alternative minimum tax, or A.M.T., next year.

The alternative minimum tax is a topic that makes most people's eyes glaze over until it hits them personally. And if Congress makes no change, it will hit about 15 million new households in 2006 - with a surprise tax surcharge averaging about $2,000. [...]

The Senate bill offers $63 billion in tax cuts, and almost half of that would be for a one-year patch to the alternative minimum tax.

But largely because that fix costs so much, Democrats and a pivotal Republican moderate senator - Olympia J. Snowe of Maine - forced the Senate's Republican leaders to drop the extension of President Bush's tax cut for dividends.

Both the tax cut for stock dividends and relief from the alternative minimum tax benefit the wealthy. But because the overwhelming bulk of stock dividends flow to the wealthiest five percent of households, the House bill is skewed more than the Senate bill to the superrich.

The Tax Policy Center calculated that 51.3 percent of the House bill's tax package would flow to the top 1 percent of filers, people with average annual incomes of $1.1 million. Put another way: half the entire tax cut would go to about 1.4 million households.

Just wait for the misinformation campaign kick into high gear as this gets closer to being a done deal. You'll here all kinds of smoke-and-mirrors explanations on why this is good for America. Just remember, it's good only for those who already have the money. Meanwhile, equal or even greater amounts of dollars are being cut from programs for the poor. This is what they call "compassionate" conservatism.

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