Dispatches from Outland
A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants. Copyright © 2003 Roy M. Jacobsen.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003  

Falcon-cam Department: The eggs hatched!

. . . the eggs began to hatch on the afternoon of May 31st. The following morning at about 11 AM Frieda fed the young for what may have been the first time. One egg was still unhatched. The three babies, however, appeared to be hungry and healthy. From this point on the falcon watching should be a lot more interesting.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 4:29 PM

Tuesday, June 03, 2003  

Be Careful What You Wish For Department: So, several opponents of the President's tax cut argued vociferously that it was "too big", that "we can't afford it." And the legislative process ground out it's sausage, and the Legislative arm of our government produced a tax cut smaller than the President originally proposed. And guess what ingredient got left out of the sausage to keep the tab under $350 billion: A $400 child tax credit for low-income families. And now, some of the poeple who said that they would never agree to a tax cut that went over $350 billion are complaining because of that omission.

First, in the original plan, the $400 per child was supposed to go to everyone with kids. But because several senators -- notably Olympia Snowe (Maine) and Blanche Lincoln (Arkansas) -- insisted that the bill come in under $350 billion, it was removed. They got what they thought they wanted, but now they don't like it.

Second, this is a tax-cut package. That means that it reduces the amount of taxes that people have to pay. But how do you reduce the income taxes of people who don't pay any in the first place? The people who were left out of the child tax credit are not paying any income taxes as it is. If you earned $27,000 in 2000 (individually or filing jointly), you're in the top 50% of income earners, and you're part of the group that pays 96% of taxes. The top 5% ($128,000) payed 56% of taxes.

This isn't rocket science. You can't have an income tax cut for the poor, because the poor are only paying a small fraction of the income tax burden. If you want to have a tax cut that will help them, it'll require cutting into the Social Security or Medicare taxes. Anybody with guts enough to talk about that?

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 9:20 AM
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