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Simply unacceptable

After reading various news stories about President Bush's stimulus plan, I see one glaring omission: No Nieporent Tax Elimination. My father pays taxes. Do we really need double taxation of Nieporents? I think not.

On a slightly less important note, is anybody else annoyed at phrases like "10-year, $674 billion plan"? For one thing, there's no such thing as a "10-year plan." Over the next ten years, we could have up to three other presidents besides W. At a minimum, we'll have one other president. Those presidents are going to have tax plans of their own. No president can plan more than four years ahead. For another, nobody has the foggiest idea what economic conditions will be like in a decade. The value of the cut is completely fictional, based on guesses about what the economy might do. We could be at war in ten years. We could have invaded France and seized all their oilcheese, giving us a world monopoly on Brie and bringing in massive tax revenues. Who knows? Nobody. So why pretend that the number $674 million is meaningful? (And you have to love the phony precision. Not $675 million. $674 million. Does anybody think they chose the latter number just because it looks slightly less made up than the former one? $675 million seems like an estimate someone pulled out of a hat. $674 million looks like a number someone took great pains to calculate.)

And for those people who don't understand what it means to say that the media is liberally biased, consider the following quote:

The administration proposes spending $364 billion over 10 years to end dividend taxation, $64 billion to accelerate the cuts in income tax rates, $58 billion to speed up the removal of the "marriage penalty," $91 billion to hasten an increase in the child tax credit, $48 billion to accelerate the shifting of lower income taxpayers to the 10 percent bracket, $29 billion to prevent more people from facing the alternative minimum tax, and $16 billion in incentives for small-business purchases.
What the Post describes as "spending" is actually lower taxes. The numbers which the paper reports are almost certainly accurate (at least as far as they go, as I discuss above), but the framing of the story is biased. Tax cuts are not "spending." If you're calculating the budget deficit (or god forbid, surplus), then cuts and increased spending may have the same net first-order effect. But they're very different.


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