Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Tuesday, April 06, 2004  

The mass press is finally starting to awaken to the realities of the Bush tax cuts. From a cover story in the current Newsweek:

The blather from both sides obscures the real, but largely hidden, agenda behind the Bush tax cuts. Bush has been open about each item he wants: lowering taxes on capital income, such as dividends and capital gains; creating two big new income-sheltering investment plans; eliminating the estate tax. But he's not been at all forthcoming about the ultimate effect of his program. If Bush gets what he wants, the income tax will become a misnomer—it will really be a salary tax. Almost all income taxes would come from paychecks—80 percent of income for most families, less than half for the top 1 percent. Meanwhile taxpayers receiving dividends, interest and capital gains, known collectively as investment income, would have a much lighter burden than salary earners—or maybe none at all. And here's the topper. In the name of preserving family farms and keeping small businesses in the family, Bush would eliminate the estate tax and create a new class of landed aristocrats who could inherit billions tax-free, invest the money, watch it compound tax-free and hand it down tax-free to their heirs.

By drastically favoring investment income over salary, fees and other "earned income," Bush would make it harder for people who start out with nothing to earn their way up the economic ladder, because they'd pay full taxes on almost everything they make, but he'd shower rewards on people who have already made it to the top rungs.

The central reason Americans haven't been as enraged as bloggers lo these past three years is because the mass press like Newsweek have failed in their duty to counter Bush's propaganda-as-policy. While he rolled out these atrocious assaults on the middle class under the horribly cynical banner of "jobs program," the mass media snored. There wasn't anything particularly subtle about his proposal, yet even the press bought the PR.

The only upside to all of this--if you can call it an upside--is that the press appears finally tired of being the White House's stooge. It's about time.

posted by Jeff | 10:35 AM |
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