Calvin Woodward of AP, reporting on the Democrats' debate earlier today, cites this as cause for "head scratching":
Dean repeated his frequent claim that middle-income Americans have not seen their taxes go down under Bush: "There was no middle-class tax cut," he declared.
In fact, their taxes did go down. But Dean went on to explain what he really meant -- that most people are worse off because college tuition, health care premiums, property taxes and other state and local taxes or fees have gone up by more than Americans have saved under the Bush tax cuts.
John Broder of The New York Times, please explain this to Mr. Woodward:
After three consecutive years of dismal fiscal news at the state level, officials are beginning to detect signs that the worst may be over. But state budgets will continue to be stressed by slow job growth and rapidly rising health care costs, and battles in state capitals over taxing and spending will continue to rage, analysts say....
States have responded by greatly cutting spending and raising fees on all kinds of services, from fishing licenses to divorce filings. Sales taxes rose in 17 states, while 10 states, including New York, increased income taxes, although most made the increases temporary. Many states resorted to one-time remedies to raise revenue, including accelerating tax collections in Michigan....
Alaska raised fees on rental cars. Arkansas imposed a 3 percent excise tax on beer and doubled, to $150, the fee for reinstatement of drivers' licenses revoked for drunken driving. Georgia tripled the cigarette tax to 27 cents a pack. North Carolina increased the fee the state charges for analyzing pap smears. Ohio raised the elevator inspection fee. Texas is erecting tollbooths on state highways, raising college tuitions and imposing a $1,000 surcharge on drunken driving convictions.
Massachusetts raised the fee for a marriage license to $50 from $4. New Jersey raised the divorce filing fee to $250 from $200....
Now do you get it, Mr. W?
(Needlenose and Atrios have a different bone to pick with Woodward.)