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May 30, 2003

12 Million Children Left Behind

This is the issue that should kill Bush on the whole cynical tax cut bill just passed. On top of the phaseouts, gimmicks and other games to fit the bill into a $350 billion package, it looks like the negotiators dumped benefits for the kids of the poorest working families out of the bill:

a last-minute change by congressional Republicans before passage last week means the child care credit increase to $1,000 from $600 will not be available to most families with annual incomes of $10,500 to $26,625.
The base meanness of the GOP is shown by the fact that covering these 12 million children would have only cost $3.5 billion, just 1% of the cost of the overall bill. But any money for the working poor is too much for the rightwing.

Ari Fleischer, in one more swan song of deception, dismissed complaints about the deleted tax credit for the working poor

''That, in the end, is a redistribution of income,'' he said. ``That is public assistance above and beyond what people pay in their income taxes.''
Of course, that ignores the fact that the working poor pay a range of other taxes, from social security taxes to sales taxes. But the Bush administration doesn't want to lower the burden of those taxes. In fact, by resisting help to the states, the policy of the Bush administration is de facto to increase the tax burden on the working poor, as states are forced to raise sales taxes and other local revenue sources that disproportionately hit poorer tax payers.

But let's stick to the headline-- in late night deal, GOP deletes tax credit for 12 million children of working poor, all while giving massive tax giveaways to the rich.

Flood the zone as they say. This should be the "school lunch" style metaphor (for those who remember Reagan and Gingrich cuts on that program that came to symbolize their nastiness) for Bush's indifference to the working poor.

Posted by Nathan at May 30, 2003 06:09 AM