It's your money and other political musing

Thursday, May 31, 2001

As you probably know, the U.S. House and U.S. Senate recently passed a 10 year, $1.35 trillion tax cut by strong margins. The House vote was 240-154 and the Senate vote was 58-38. The tax cut will put much needed money into the hands of the American people, by reducing tax rates, expanding tax credits for children, eliminating both the marriage penalty and death tax, and will spur investment for retirement and education plans. The passing of the tax cuts has brought out the tired class warfare of liberals and the Democratic party. They claim that children will suffer, the elderly will suffer, and the family dog will suffer. This is nonsense.

First, the tax rate reductions will bring much needed money into the hands of the American people. The rates will be lowered from 39.6 to 35, 36 to 33, 31 to 28, 28 to 25, and continue with the 15 percent tax rate. A new 10 percent tax rate will apply for the first $6,000 of taxable income for singles and $12,000 for married couples filing jointly. This rate was created to help bring individuals making $10,000 to $25,000, into the investment class. By reducing tax rates, every individual paying income taxes will keep more of what they earn, thus helping to improve the economy. By putting more money into the hands of the American people, Americans can now save money, invest in the stock market, or pay off outstanding bills. Yet, we hear from liberals that the rich only will benefit from the tax cuts. Nonsense. The majority of the tax cut goes to individuals and families making under $80,000.

Second, the tax cut plan will expand the child tax credit, eliminate the marriage penalty, and remove the onerous death tax from the tax code. The child tax credit is expanded from $500 to $1,000 per child, thus, allowing parents to save for their child's education, clothing, possible medical bills, or simply putting money back for their child. The plan also eliminates both the marriage penalty and the death tax. Both the marriage penalty and the death tax are parts of our tax code that punishes good behavior. Under our current tax code, a man and a woman living together pay lower taxes than a mother and father with two children in marriage. The death tax is another part of our tax code that punishes years of work, by small business owners and farmers. A farmer could work 40 years; pay taxes on income, property, sales, and other taxes; yet, see 37-55 percent of their life's work thrown away by this onerous tax.

Finally, the tax plan will allow individuals to save more for the education of their children and for their retirement. Under the plan, an individual will be able to increase the amount of money saved for IRA's and Roth IRA's, from $2,000 to $5,000; and 401 (K) savings go from $10,500 a year to $15,000 a year. Both will allow individuals to save and invest for their retirement. Also, parents will be able to deduct $5,000 for their child's higher education tuition, remove the deductibility of student loan interest, and increase education savings account savings from $500 to $2,000. Sen. Tim Hutchinson of Arkansas has worked to make sure that the education portion of the tax bill helps the most families. Speaking of Arkansas' Congressional Delegation, Hutchinson and Sen. Blanche Lincoln both voted yes on the Senate vote. However, 1st District Rep. Marion Berry and 2nd District Rep. Vic Snyder voted no, while 3rd District Rep. Asa Hutchinson and 4th District Rep. Mike Ross voted yes on the House vote.


(DOWN-BIG TIME): to Vermont turncoat Sen. Jim Jeffords. Jeffords threw away 30+ years in the Republican party, for a gutless deal with Sen. Tom Daschle, the illegitimate Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate. (for an explanation of the "illegitimate Majority Leader" remark, read down.)

(DOWN): to Sen. Tom Daschle. Daschle receives the Vulture Award for his actions, concerning 98 year old Sen. Strom Thurmond. During the tax cut debate, Thurmond appeared frail but stayed in his seat for the entire debate. Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware agreed to leave, along with Thurmond, to help him go home. Daschle, along with Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy, said no to the request, thus forcing Thurmond to stay in his chair until 1:00 a.m. Now, the "illegitimate Majority Leader" statement. In January, we heard from liberals that Pres. Bush was a "illegitimate" President because he did not win the popular vote. (They forget that we use the Electoral College to elect the President.) Daschle did not win the Majority Leader job by popular vote, so using liberal logic (that's an oxymoron), he is now the "illegitimate Majority Leader."

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