Sunday, May 21, 2006

No Child Left Untaxed

On May 18, 2006, the great No-tax-and-spend-way-more-than-you-have non-fiscal-conservative George “Dubya” Bush, signed yet another “tax-relief” bill. Well, almost. A cute little catch in the bill increases taxes for “teenagers age 14 to 17 with investment income” who will now “be taxed at the same rate as their parents, not at their own rates.” In other words, according to the NYT, “Long-term capital gains and dividends that had been taxed at 5 percent will now be taxed at 15 percent. Interest that had been taxed at 10 percent will now be taxed at as much as 35 percent.”

Aside from the fact that this new bill effectively breaks Dubya’s 1999 promise to “veto any bill that raises taxes”, and that this bill is clearly at odds with the alleged intent of his “No Child Left Behind” pseudomasterpiece, the White House response to getting caught with its hand in teenagers’ pockets is rather telling.

Initially, the White House had crowed that Dubya had “reduced taxes on all people who pay income taxes.” Caught taking candy from babies, the Truth-lite House retracted the original statement and modified it with, “reduced taxes on virtually all people who pay income taxes”.

Now, in order to see what I’m on about, let’s parse this sentence:

  • First, people are not taxed, their income is. Yet, by using the preposition “on” rather than “for”, the Bushites clearly want to propagate the myth that “Taxes don’t tax income, they kill people” (or something like that).
  • The use of “virtually all” when talking about tax reductions makes it sound as if the status quo has been maintained for the rest, not that taxes have actually tripled on income that was to be used so that no child really is left behind.
  • The use of “income taxes” is deliberately misleading: there is only one income tax. It may have different facets, but there’s only one tax. Saying income “taxes” creates the opposite impression.
  • “…people who pay income taxes” is also a bit nebulous. True, it is correct to note that not all people pay income tax – but the reason is never specified, leading the reader to draw their own conclusion, which, given the average American’s lack of knowledge of the Internal Revenue Code, is likely to be the wrong conclusion. The reason is that some people make too little for their income to be taxed, but the wording suggests that some people are getting away with something. (And some are – mostly Dubya’s “Rangers” and “Pioneers”)

Bottom line? The statement is a masterpiece in misinformation (or, perhaps, disinformation) well in keeping with the overall all tendency of the Bushites, who started their tax disinformation program by misrepresenting and propagandizing Estate Taxes, which they were quick to call “Death Taxes”.

P.S. – Although I noted above, “Aside from the fact … that this bill is clearly at odds with the alleged intent of his “No Child Left Behind” pseudomasterpiece…”, I should touch on that aspect, too. Are too many lower- and middle-income kids now able to afford a college education, thus creating problems for the children of privilege who might actually have to compete for jobs based on their college GPA? Could the kids born with plastic spoons in their mouths actually supplant those born to the silver spoon set? The horror, the horror.


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