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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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Saturday, May 31, 2003


Support Our Troops!

posted by Ezra at Saturday, May 31, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Got this in an E-Mail today from Cris Alvarado. He's absolutely right, the campaign should pick it up and run with it. Bush's willingness to eliminate the only bit of his tax cut that aided the poor, the child tax credit, is shameful. We need to show that the needy who Bush is attacking here aren't jobless degenrates, as Rove would have us believe, but quite a few of our enlisted men and women whom Bush is so happy to use as props for photo-ops.

"Did some research after a comment on the NewsHour intrigued me, specifically:

How many servicemen, just returning from Iraq, are shut out from the tax cuts because they fall below the approx. $27,000 cutoff?

I think this would be a devastating number to calculate precisely, and then circulate in the press.  "Mr. President, not only are 11.7 million children affected but (number) service men and women as well.  Is that how little you value our enlisted men and women?", or something like that.

As with all thing military, this is not straightforward.  Please find attached a pdf of the basic pay scale (Here's the HTML version of the pay scale - Ezra).  I was somewhat shocked to see just how low it is -- for example, a newly commissioned O-1, say out of West Point or Annapolis makes something like $2200/month (below the cutoff), as does every enlisted man regardless of experience at E-5 or below (some type of sergeant).

What is not straightforward is how basic subsistence and housing allowances factor into your tax liability -- I am not an accountant, just a physician! 

But someone in the campaign might take this ball and run with it. "

Y'hear that Campaign?


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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.