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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Wednesday, April 16, 2003


The Race is On!

posted by annatopia at Wednesday, April 16, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Now that the Pentagon has announced that major combat operations in Iraq are over, Bush is turning his attention back to America. From my completely partisan viewpoint, I think that's great! Before 9/11, Bush's domestic approval ratings were dismal and his popularity ratings were falling fast. During his first year in office, he pushed through lots of bad legislation, such as his "Faith Based Initiatives" which blurred the line between church and state. He was pushing for drilling in ANWR (which has been rejected by Congress several times since), he was pushing for school vouchers that rob our public schools of much-needed funding (and let's not forget the No School Board Left Standing Bill), and he pushed the largest tax bribe since the Reagan era. That tax bribe was merely a shifting of the burden from the uber-rich to the lower and middle class (have YOU done your taxes yet?). And I haven't even begun to address ENRON...
Since 9/11, our domestic situation has only gotten worse. Obviously the airlines took a hit after that fateful day, and it's still uncertain whether they will ever recover. But other industries are suffering as well when we should be on the way to recovery. The high tech boom is now a bust, the stock market has been devalued, people are watching their 401ks evaporate while high-level executives retire with golden parachutes, and a good chunk of our population is still uninsured. And what is Bush's "end-all-be-all" solution for these problems? MORE TAX BRIBES FOR THE RICH!
Perhaps one of you can explain this to me. I simply can't fathom how cutting taxes will fund our schools. I don't understand how cutting taxes for the rich will foster economic growth, when it's the low-end consumer that drives the economy (GDP not GNP, remember?). I also don't comprehend how cutting taxes for the rich will provide a drug benefit for our seniors, or how it'll help us expand medicade and medicare to ensure the neediest of Americans. And on top of all this, most of our states are broke! They don't have the money to fund the No School Board Left Standing Bill, much less fix our roads or fund our schools. Many states are forced to consider raising property taxes to fill these gaps, and who pays the majority of that? You and me, folks, not the uber-rich.
Dr Dean nailed it in a speech a few months back when he said if you want to provide tax relief, you've got to think of the average property owner and you've got to think of the payroll tax. Those two taxes effect the average consumer more frequently than silly dividend taxes, luxury taxes, or inheritance taxes (with the exception of family farms, of course). Let's look at a quick example, since I just filed my extension yesterday. My husband and I received a $600 tax bribe from Bush. Yet the standard deduction for our wage group DECREASED by more than $4000 (and yes, I'm middle class). Basically, the deduction cancelled out my bribe. On top of that, my property taxes totalled over $3000 (and we only owned our house for five months in 2002). That's income that comes out of our pocket every month. That's money we do not get to save, invest, or spend. So if you want to talk about tax relief, let's talk about the payroll tax and helping our states with their debt burdens.
Now moving along from that, do we really think it's wise to cut taxes when we're up to our ears in debt? Sheesh, even the conservative readership of CNN online disagrees. Check the quick vote. It's 52% opposed to a tax cut right now. The average voter understands that cutting taxes while we're in debt is not a prudent fiscal move (I might even call it completely irresponsible). Once the economy is growing again then sure, we can talk tax relief. But for now, if this is the kind of proposal that Karl Rove thinks will get Bush re-elected, then I look forward to the 2004 race and Bush's subsequent defeat.


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.