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Taxes and the Public Good.

Some connected or unconnected events?

Monday evening (June 23, 2003) about 2,000 people paid $2,000 each for the privilege of spending a few hours with President Bush at the New York Sheraton.

The same evening, the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York voted to increase tuition by 25 percent. The City University of New York is a public college that traditionally provides higher education to urban residents who would otherwise be unable to attend college. Colin Powell is a graduate of CUNY.

Under President Bush's recent tax cuts, the wealthiest one percent will receive an average benefit of $100,000 in reduced taxes.

Presumably, the wealthiest one percent were well represented at Monday's fund raiser at the Sheraton.

CUNY tuition, after the tuition increase, happens to be about $2,000 per year.

I heard some right wing moron ranting on the radio last night about the "greater good." I think the point was the individual rights should be subordinated to the "greater good." Of course, this is not what is really meant. You can be sure that precious few of the wealthiest one percent in this country have any intention of giving up any of their individual rights for the greater good. Ask yourself, how is the greater good of this country better served - by reducing the taxes of a very rich person by $100,000 or by providing 50 young urban residents with a college education? Tough decision, eh?

Right wing nuts like to accuse moderates (they call all moderates liberals, socialists and communists) of engaging in class warfare. In this case, I think the far right is, err, right. Warfare implies some kind of fighting or resistance. The current administration has implemented huge transfers of capital from the lower and middle classes to the wealthiest one or two percent. The lower and middle classes are not fighting back. Thus, there is no class warfare. Just class oppression.

Taxes cannot really be lowered. Government services can only be reduced. If services are not reduced, they have to be paid for. If the government runs a deficit (i.e., spends more providing services than it collects in taxes), then the government is borrowing money and at some point that money will have to be paid back, with interest.

So, we have the government running huge deficits to fund tax cuts for the very rich. In other words, the government is borrowing money, in order to give money to the rich. Guess who the government borrows money from? It doesn't borrow from the poor, because the poor has no money. The government borrows from the rich. So here's a neat trick. The government reduces the taxes on the rich ($100,000 on average) and in order to keep running, must borrow that money back from the rich, and then pay interest to the rich.

You can be sure that when all this has to be paid back, it will be put on the backs of the working classes.

There is a bridge between Manhattan and the Bronx. Until recently, the toll was $1. It is now $2. That is an increase of 100 percent.

A toll is a tax by any other name. Many of these so called tax cuts are just tax shifts. The federal government collects less money and therefore shares less money with State and Local governments. State and local governments have to replace those revenues, and they do things like raising taxes and fees, including tolls.

The average monthly take home pay for an office worker in New York is probably about $2,000.

Why do you think people were paying $2,000 each to spend a few hours with President Bush in a huge room with about 2,000 other people? We know it's not because Bush is such a riveting public speaker.

Why is the President, or any other incumbent in office, allowed to engage in fund raising? I mean seriously, doesn't that strike anybody as a bribe? Bush raised about $4 million Monday night. That's more money than most Americans will earn in their lifetimes. About twice what the average American can expect to earn in 40 years of labor.

Bush is our President. He doesn't own the Presidency, we, the people own it, he's just serving us, supposedly, for four years. So how does he get to use the prestige and trapping of that office to raise money for his own personal use?

I know, Clinton did it and generations of Presidents before. But when will this institutionalized system of public bribery come to an end?

Remember that right wing nut talking about the public good? The subject was a young girl's right to free speech. Our right wing host proposed that this young person's free speech rights ought to be snuffed for the overall "public good." (The girl's t-shirt which carried some slogan about Barbie, was deemed "distracting" by the school.)

Politicians are allowed to engage in fund raising because of their free speech rights.

I just wonder, whose slogans are more distracting, Bush's or the girl's?

Right Versus Left

Stuff to look at, not that I necessarily endorse, but to be exposed to ideas that never get to the "liberal media."

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