Sunday, June 08, 2003

Newspeak of the Week

"The fairest tax cuts are those that favor one side."

I deduced this week's Newspeak from a meme that's being promoted by Republicans the past couple of weeks. The important examples are Tom DeLay and Robert Novak, though I swear I've heard it spoken by nearly every conservative mouthpiece who's been on TV talking about the tax cuts.

It goes like this:

"Tax cuts should be aimed at the people who pay taxes."

Here's the ensuing logic:

This is because the only people who count are those who pay taxes.

And if you pay lots of taxes, then you count more.

Thus, some Americans are more equal than others.

So when Ari Fleischer says, "This certainly does deliver tax relief to the people who pay income taxes," he means something other than what it sounds like he's saying. (Imagine that!)

At any rate, have you noticed that no one ever talks about "tax burdens" anymore? That's because they are the inconvenient flaw in this kind of "logic."

What these rich Republicans conveniently neglect to factor into their scenario is the fact that for someone with three kids earning $20,000 a year, the $1200 tax cut that's now been forwarded to the House means the difference between buying shoes for their kids or not. For someone earning $200,000 (or $2 million) a year, it's the difference between the condo with the view and the one without.

In other words, trying to ameliorate the difference in tax burdens is really about basic values of fair play and decency.

Not that Tom DeLay would be familiar with such concepts.

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