06/01/2004: Gem o'the Day:
From Paul Krugman today:
Three years ago George Bush claimed that he was cutting taxes to return a budget surplus to the public. Instead, he presided over a move to huge deficits. As a result, the modest tax cuts received by the great majority of Americans are, in a fundamental sense, fraudulent. It's as if someone expected gratitude for giving you a gift, when he actually bought it using your credit card.UPDATE: Kevin of LeanLeft weighs in on something Krugman mentioned in this column:
The most striking thing about this Krugman column is the revelation that the Bush Administration has instructed the Treasury Department to stop releasing economic figures based on income brackets:Of course not. Bush, relative to his tax cuts, wants to be like the Geography department at the University of North Carolina, which is said to have told prospective geography majors what the average salary of graduating UNC geography majors was....without informing them that NBA star Michael Jordan took his bachelor's degree in geography at UNC.I can't back that assertion with official numbers, because under Mr. Bush the Treasury Department has stopped releasing information on the distribution of tax cuts by income level. Estimates by the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center, which now provides the numbers the administration doesn't want you to know, reveal why. This year, the average tax reduction per family due to Bush-era cuts was $1,448. But this average reflects huge cuts for a few affluent families, with most families receiving much less (which helps explain why most people, according to polls, don't believe their taxes have been cut). In fact, the 257,000 taxpayers with incomes of more than $1 million received a bigger combined tax cut than the 85 million taxpayers who make up the bottom 60 percent of the population.That's right: Krugamn and other people cannot get the most basic information from the government in order to prove or disprove a contention. Why? The only answer that makes any sense is that the Bush Administration is trying to hide the truth from the American people.
Is there anything they won't lie about?
Figures don't lie, but liars figure.
DISCLAIMER: I really don't believe that UNC's Geography department engaged in such a blatantly deceptive recruiting ploy; most likely that started as a joke (or possibly an instructive example of the danger of placing too much reliance on an arithmetic mean when you have one or two big outliers in your data distribution). But it does illustrate markedly the smoke-and-mirror routine that the bAdministration does engage in when they talk about the impact of the Bush tax cuts on us normal peons....
Len on 06.01.04 @ 11:00 AM CST