May 11, 2003

You say you want a revolution

GOP Eyes Tax Cuts as Annual Events and Bush’s Drive for Tax Cut - Does anyone else feel like the gullible relative of a junkie who keeps asking for money to clean up? Or who stupidly lends his credit card to a cousin who has promised to fly straight this time? How many more deceits are we going to put up with as these people use up every last dime for the next 40 years to service their foolish debts?

But the difference in the 10-year size of the package may not be as great as it appears. That is because lawmakers, including Mr. Grassley, have discovered a budget tool called a sunset.
This is a device in which a popular tax benefit is put into place and then allowed to expire abruptly to save money. The 2001 tax bill, for instance, repeals the estate tax in 2010 and then puts it back on the books in 2011.
This and other sunsets made the 10-year cost of the 2001 bill hundreds of billions of dollars lower than it would otherwise have been.
The proponents, mostly Republicans, know that the pressure will be intense on future Congresses to retain tax breaks about to lapse, and they accuse politicians who want to let the breaks expire of advocating raising taxes.

Not that I'm a fan of presidents lying, but at least when Clinton lied he didn't cost me a single penny. (Well, unless you count the $70+ million spent for the ongoing witch hunt during his two terms.) Fifty years from now my grandchildren will ask me how we could let this happen and all I'll be able to say is, "We were busy watching 'American Idol.'"

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