Minister of Science and Chief Protector of the Faith

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Looks like Britney Spears is not the only one getting fleeced

Maybe We Deserve to Be Ripped Off By Bush's Billionaires

On the same day that Britney was shaving her head, a guy I know who works in the office of Senator Bernie Sanders sent me an email. He was trying very hard to get news organizations interested in some research his office had done about George Bush's proposed 2008 budget, which was unveiled two weeks ago and received relatively little press, mainly because of the controversy over the Iraq war resolution. All the same, the Bush budget is an amazing document. It would be hard to imagine a document that more clearly articulates the priorities of our current political elite.

Not only does it make many of Bush's tax cuts permanent, but it envisions a complete repeal of the Estate Tax, which mainly affects only those who are in the top two-tenths of the top one percent of the richest people in this country. The proposed savings from the cuts over the next decade are about $442 billion, or just slightly less than the amount of the annual defense budget (minus Iraq war expenses). But what's interesting about these cuts are how Bush plans to pay for them.

Sanders's office came up with some interesting numbers here. If the Estate Tax were to be repealed completely, the estimated savings to just one family -- the Walton family, the heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune -- would be about $32.7 billion dollars over the next ten years.

The proposed reductions to Medicaid over the same time frame? $28 billion.

Or how about this: if the Estate Tax goes, the heirs to the Mars candy corporation -- some of the world's evilest scumbags, incidentally, routinely ripped by human rights organizations for trafficking in child labor to work cocoa farms in places like Cote D'Ivoire -- if the estate tax goes, those assholes will receive about $11.7 billion in tax breaks. That's more than three times the amount Bush wants to cut from the VA budget ($3.4 billion) over the same time period.

Some other notable estimate estate tax breaks, versus corresponding cuts:

♥ Cox family (Cox cable TV) receives $9.7 billion tax break while education would get $1.5 billion in cuts

♥ Nordstrom family (Nordstrom dept. stores) receives $826.5 million tax break while Community Service Block Grants would be eliminated, a $630 million cut

♥ Ernest Gallo family (shitty wines) receives a $468.4 million cut while LIHEAP (heating oil to poor) would get a $420 million cut

And so on and so on. Sanders additionally pointed out that the family of former Exxon/Mobil CEO Lee Raymond, who received a $400 million retirement package, would receive about $164 million in tax breaks.

Compare that to the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, which Bush proposes be completely eliminated, at a savings of $108 million over ten years. The program sent one bag of groceries per month to 480,000 seniors, mothers and newborn children. AlterNet

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At Wed Feb 21, 07:30:00 PM, Blogger Omnipotent Poobah said...

Maybe there's hope. Britney checked out of rehab AGAIN, so maybe the tax cuts will check out too.

At Wed Feb 21, 08:02:00 PM, Blogger Becca said...

How is this not the biggest news story? How is it that people care more about Britney's bald headed ass then these proposed tax cuts?

I think my head is going to explode.

At Thu Feb 22, 09:57:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

The Poobah-ness has a point, just because the budget is proposed by Bush does not mean it will be adopted by congress.

I share the same fears as Becca, though. If a budget with such far-reaching ramifications for all concerned is proposed by the president, and then ignored by the media - it seems to lend some sort of validity to the GOP's ability to sneak this kind of crap into the mainstream of thought.

There are enough heads that feel like they are about to explode to go around, it would seem.

As Shaggy would say, Zoinks!

At Fri Feb 23, 08:08:00 AM, Blogger Becca said...

Yeah like zoinks! man. Hmm I have a sudden craving for a turkey, ham, ice cream and anchovie sandwich.


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