Thursday, May 29, 2003


I'm not breaking any news here -- this is a front-page story in both the print and online New York Times -- but this just makes me furious:

A last-minute revision by House and Senate leaders in the tax bill that President Bush signed today will prevent millions of minimum-wage families from receiving the increased child credit that is in the measure, say Congressional officials and outside groups.

... after studying the bill approved on Friday, liberal and child advocacy groups discovered that a different group of families would also not benefit from the $400 increase — families who make just above the minimum wage.

Because of the formula for calculating the credit, most families with incomes from $10,500 to $26,625 will not benefit. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal group, says those families include 11.9 million children, or one of every six children under 17.

And in case you're not clear about what's important to our right-wing government, realize this: a provision to give these families the tax break was agreed on, but

an important swing senator, George V. Voinovich, Republican of Ohio, said he could not approve any bill that exceeded $350 billion. To satisfy him and the Senate, Ms. Tinsworth [a Ways and Means Committee spokeswoman] said, the child credit provision was dropped, along with other costs.

...A spokeswoman for Mr. Voinovich said the senator would have been happy to extend the child credits, but believed that the entire package should not pass $350 billion. The tax writers were free to reduce the dividend tax cut, noted the spokeswoman, Marcie Ridgway.
(emphasis mine)

Free to reduce it? They were free to eliminate it. Hell, they were free not to do engage at all in another round of tax giveaways to the non-needy. But they know what's important, right?

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