drat fink

View current page
...more recent posts

Monday, Jun 09, 2003

just duckie

"By any definition, not acting now to narrow the gap between revenues and outlays is a dereliction of fiduciary responsibility. Cutting taxes in the face of it is willful recklessness. But this policy failure is a political success for the Rove/Bush strategy of keeping the sun from setting on the GOP era. Rove is open about the alchemy required. He laid it out for his Boswell, the invaluable Nicholas Lemann, of The New Yorker. Tax cuts and budget deficits will starve the government of funds for discretionary spending on things like after-school programs, health care, and public transportation. Receiving fewer services, Americans will demand tax relief. The idea is to create a permanent constituency for tax cuts, especially among poorer Americans, those "lucky duckies," in the words of a Wall Street Journal editorial, who pay little or no federal income taxes now. The Journal, the Administration's oracle on taxes, says the key to cutting government is to shift more of the tax burden on to the people at the lower end of the economic spectrum—those who work at Wal-Mart, who clean office buildings, staff nursing homes and school cafeterias. Since most state tax codes follow the federal template, the Bush cuts will trigger state income tax cuts, which will force more reductions in state spending and/or increases in state sales and local property taxes to balance state budgets. Sales and property taxes fall with painful severity on the less affluent. Piece by piece, under successive tax revolts, the regulatory responsibilities assumed by the federal government beginning a hundred years ago will be abandoned, and the programs of the Great Society (Medicare, Medicaid, Federal Aid to Education, Head Start, etc.) and the New Deal (Social Security) will be hollowed out, dismantled, or privatized."