Tax Cuts on the Backs of the Poor means
More Tax Cuts for the Affluent

When Congress last week passed the final version of President Bush's second round of tax cuts for the rich, Republicans made a last minute decision to drop the $400-per-child tax credit for 6.5 million low-income families making between $10,500 and $26,625.

Senate Republicans were so anxious to get the $400 out right away that they called in Vice President Dick Cheney to help break the tie before Memorial Day, so the Treasury could start sending checks to 25 million households that qualified.

Apparently Republicans didn't want any checks sent to the poorest American families, perhaps because they can't be counted on to vote Republican, or because the last thing they want to do is somehow reward the poor for having children. Why else would they do such a callous thing? Aren't poor Americans just as likely, if not more likely, to spend their $400 right away, thereby stimulate the sagging economy?

If Republicans made a mistake, why not admit it? Well, because they didn't, as their actions this week prove.

While Democrats, led by Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, along with a handful of moderate Republicans are supporting a bill to give the $400 credit to the 6.5 million families who were left behind, Republicans have the gall to ask for more tax cuts, specifically by extending the child tax credit to married couples making between $110, 000 and $150,000.

Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa said that he favored giving the credit to low-income families, but that many families at the higher end deserved it, too.
"They're middle-income families."

One has to wonder if Grassley honestly believes that. Why else would he say something so patently ridiculous?

Derrick Z. Jackson points out in yesterday's Boston Globe that:
All it would have taken to cover those families would have been $3.5 billion, a mere 1 percent of the tax cut. The poor were axed by politicians who did not want to take one drop out of the waterfall of welfare for the wealthy. Taxpayers who earn over $1 million will receive an average benefit of $93,500.

Has the Republican leadership always been this crass and selfish, serving the interests of the rich first, and the poor and middle class only as an afterthought, if at all? Maybe, but Jackson points out that Bush said some things about taxation early in his presidency that contradict his recent actions, to say the least.

"I don't think they [Republicans] ought to balance their budget on the backs of the poor.... I'm concerned that someone who moves from near-poverty to middle class pays a higher rate on their income. I think we ought to make the tax code such that it's easier for people to move from near poverty to the middle class.''

''Too often my party has confused the need for limited government with a disdain for government itself.... There are human problems that persist in the shadow of affluence.''

Thanks to the latest round of tax cuts, and the continued cuts which are planned for as long as the Republicans control the White House and Congress, the human problems will only grow worse in the widening shadow of affluence.