Senate Tax Cut Vote

Wednesday, 2003-05-14; 09:17:00

The Senate is set to vote on a tax cut initiative this week.

I called my senators this afternoon. Why? The U.S. Senate is set to vote on a tax cut initiative this week. Yes, that's right, another one. On the heels of a $1.2 trillion tax cut initiative that our "President" Bush pushed through earlier in his term, he's pushing yet another one. He wants to cut taxes by another $726 billion -- $9 billion of which comes directly out of education funding.

Why is this scary? For many reasons. First and foremost, the national budget surplus has gone out the door. President Clinton prevented a budget defecit during his terms as president, and now that surplus is gone. Our national debt is already in the trillions. We don't need a budget defecit, because that means cutting money from other needy services in the future, like social security, which is facing a horrible crisis. You can't indefinitely have defecit spending, you know.

Secondly, and perhaps more important: that money could be used to help our education system, our health care system, and many other services in dire need of help -- money that can't be put to use if the tax cut passes. We already got a huge tax cut earlier this decade -- do we REALLY need another one? I think the money would be better spent on our education system. details a school in Oregon where parents of students sold their blood in order to raise money for their school, to help fund teachers' salaries. Is that how we want our education system to be funded? Shouldn't they be supported by federal funding? Governor Gray Davis has already slashed California's education slice of the budget in order to get California back into the black. That's sad, since California's education system ranks as one of the worst in the country.

But there's yet another reason why we shouldn't authorize these tax cuts: the only people who will see a substantial decrease in taxes are the rich. It's a natural conclusion from our federal taxing system. You fall into certain tax brackets based on your income, and then depending on which bracket you are in, you have to pay a percentage of your salary to the federal government -- if you're in a higher income tax bracket, you have to pay more. So when you cut taxes by 1% from each tax bracket, the people in the highest tax bracket are going to see the highest return on the tax cut; since they have a larger income, that 1% of their income is actually more money in absolute terms. But this tax cut goes above and beyond this natural extension -- this report, from a government website, says that "the bottom 80% of taxpayers – those earning $77,000 or less – would receive an average tax cut of only $29.50". Wow, that's really helpful. If you want, you can see how much top federal officials will save if the tax cut passes.

Given that I, as a taxpayer, will see virtually nothing returned to me as a result of this tax cut, I'd rather that it be used to help things in our country other than rich people.

If you feel the same way, I'd urge you to let your congresspeople know. Of course, since it's already Wednesday, it's almost too late.

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