In a meeting on the economy in Washington this Monday, President Bush made a pointed speech arguing for the extension of his first-term tax cuts that are set to expire in 2010. Sounding more like a campaign event than a policy message, Bush was operating under the false premise that the 2008 candidates are calling for a full reform of his tax cuts, claiming that “overall 43 million families with children will face a tax increase of $2,323 on average.”
If Bush is going to talk about repealing the tax cuts bestowed upon a middle class American family of four making $50,000, in terms of the 2008 election, he’s the only one having that discussion. None of the three remaining presidential candidates — Senators Obama, Clinton and McCain — propose eliminating the tax breaks for those in the lower tax brackets.
CNN’s Ali Velshi hits the nail on the head by explaining that, “So while it was quite grand for President Bush to talk about the 43 million people getting hit by elimination of tax cuts, there’s nobody out there who’s thinking of eliminating those tax cuts for 43 million people.”
But that’s not all. In a roundtable discussion following the speech, Bush went on to state that:
The best way to deal with uncertainty is to let people keep more of their money […] Tax cuts have been an engine for economic vitality. Given the fact that tax cuts have worked, what will be the Congress’ response?
Does Bush really consider the American economy to be full of “economic vitality?” The Bush presidency has been plagued with stagnant wage growth, increased household debt, a bleak job market and a sharp rise in personal bankruptcy filings. Maybe Bush has a different definition for a tax plan that “works,” because he seems to be ignoring the fact that American income disparity is comparable to what we saw in the years leading up to the Great Depression.