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   NATIONAL NEWS
Bush’s Tax Cuts Cripple the Poor
By: Askia Muhammad
Originally posted 6/11/2003


WASHINGTON (NNPA)—The dividend portion of President George W. Bush’s massive $726 billion proposed tax cut will provide windfall benefits for top admin-istration officials among the nation’s richest taxpayers who receive dividend income.
Treasury Secretary John Snow, for example, tops the list of Bush officials who would profit. Snow would get a $275,000 tax break from the dividend tax breaks, while Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld would pocket an extra $184,000 in dividend tax savings, and Commerce Secretary Don Evans would get $181,000.
“Over the past few weeks,” Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio) complained to reporters, “President Bush and his cabinet have criss-crossed the country in an attempt to promote their irresponsible tax cut plan. “Let me remind you, this is a plan that will pay for tax cuts for the wealthy through cuts in education and health care programs for America’s children and seniors. The centerpiece of the president’s plan is a tax break on dividends that does nothing to help America’s families now, and will create huge deficits in the future.”
Ordinary people, on the other hand, are “struggling in the Bush economy,” Democrats argue. Neither the dividend tax cut nor the Republican tax-cut “compromise,” agreed to on May 8, will create new jobs and the GOP “still ignores the needs of working families.”
“Under the Bush plan, the bottom 50 percent of taxpayers—those individuals making around $29,000 a year—will get an average of $100 in tax benefits,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), a chief deputy whip in the House Democratic leadership.
“The Secretary of the Treasury, John Snow, the president’s point man on the economy, will get an annual break of $275,000. Imagine Secretary Snow standing in a room filled with 2,750 people, explaining why it is good for the country that he get a tax break equal to all of theirs combined; a room filled with pre-school teachers, secretaries, waiters, nurse assistants, day care providers, retail and service workers, janitors, security guards,” Schakowsky said.
Rather than create jobs, the Bush plan will ensure cuts to education, job training and health care, Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle said in a statement. During the Bush presidency, the U.S. has lost 2.5 million private-sector jobs. More than 8.5 million Americans are currently unemployed.
“The administration’s dividend tax cut won’t create new jobs in the short term,” Tubbs-Jones said, “and it causes the economy to lose another 750,000 jobs over the next decade. It will raid Social Security and Medicare and force programs that help all Americans, including health care and homeland security.”
The tax plan does little to help small businesses and state and local governments, say Democrats. The Republican compromise plan includes nothing for small businesses struggling to keep their employees insured, and gives only limited relief for states, which are struggling with the worst fiscal crisis they’ve faced in more than 50 years.
“The president is trying to pass off his tax breaks as a sound plan for economic growth, when the only growth I see is in his millionaire friends’ bank accounts—at a huge cost to working families,” said Gerald McEntee, international president of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).
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