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The Gross National Debt

Friday, May 12, 2006

*NOTE: I am not seriously going to try to defend the Bush tax cut. What follows is an exercise in sheer irony. So if you opened this diary thinking you were going to flame some errant Kossack for any attempted defense, just move along. Nothing to see here.

By now everyone knows that the Senate has passed the $70 billion Bush tax cut. Now you may be thinking this is a bad thing - but I'm here to tell you, I'm going to take a more positive outlook on the tax cut.

My spin after the fold.You know, my initial reaction to the passage of the latest and greatest Bush tax cut was one of shock and horror. I mean, I just break it down to personal examples. It seemed to me that this tax cut was irresponsible. If I make $100K a year and spend $100K a year, everything's all nice and balanced. I'm not in debt and I can pay my bills. But let's say that I decide to buy what I always buy AND I buy a brand new $50K cabin cruiser, raising my annual expenditures to $150K. At the same time, what good is a cabin cruiser without some serious dedicated time to enjoy it? So I take half of the year off, earning only $50K. I'm now running a personal defecit of $100K, right? But no matter. I bought it all on credit and I'm having a GREAT time.

Now that may seem to fly in the face of conventional wisdom and I would have to say that I would have agreed with your assessment in the past. But you know what? I'm TIRED of all this negativity. Why is it the glass is always half-empty instead of half-full? So I decided to approach the tax cut, emotionally, with a half-full mentality.

The particulars of the tax cut are as follows:

Here's how it breaks out:

Size of Bush tax cut: $70 Billion

  • If you earn between $20K and $30K, you will get $9 back from the tax cut.
  • If you earn between $50K and $75K, you will get $110 back from the tax cut.
  • If you earn between $100K and $200K, you will get $1,388 back from the tax cut.
  • If you earn $1 million or more, you will get back $42,000 from the tax cut.

Source: May 11 CNN American Morning Transcript.

I realize that this may look bad and further that it may look like people who earn LOTS of money get back more than the annual income of those who earn not a lot of money. I know it looks that way. But let's take our half-full approach and look at the positive side for once. Think of all the things you can buy with your tax savings!! Don't just think of it as a lemon - have vision and turn it into lemonade!!

Here are a few examples:

4 Things $42,000 Will Purchase:

This three bedroom, one bathroom home in Birmingham, Alabama that you can rent out. You're a slumlord!

This lovely Four Winns Vista 268 Power Boat so that you can ride out to your yacht in style:

If you're a good negotiator, you can buy this brand new 2007 BMW 525i to celebrate your daughter getting her learner's permit:

Four years of in-state tuition plus room and board at the College of William and Mary so that your son can learn how to make more money from the money you already have:

I can hear those economic wheels a-turning. I don't know how I couldn't see how badly the very rich really need items like this.

4 Things $1,388 Will Purhcase:

A 3.8 cu. Ft. state-of-the-art washer by Whirlpool. One must keep the silk unmentionables spiffy, mustn’t one?

A three-night Carnival Cruise. Counting all that money is hard work.

A brand new Gateway laptop for Junior. Can't have him using the family computer, can we?

A 26" Samsung flat screen high-definition television. All that reality TV is SO much better in high-def.

Not bad, right? Because although these people already have lots of stuff, they really need to upgrade their stuff to better stuff and throw the old stuff away. Now they can.

4 Things $110 Will Purchase:

These fabulous strappy sandals. Who needs a 401(k) when they can look this good?

If you're good at hunting for online bargains, you can get this iPod nano. It's great for drowning out the other people on the bus.

A wonderful set of kitchen knives. What more could you need?

This handsome gold bangle bracelet. You have to keep the Mrs. happy somehow, right?

I realize that these may not seem like wonderful items, but think of how these espouse family values. Knives for the kitchen so your wife can cook... Shoes so she can look forward to that special night out (granted, you can only afford that every few years, but hey)... The gold bracelet to keep family harmony... Try not to look at it like you've been short-changed. Look at it like a strengthening of your family unit.

4 Things $9 Will Purchase:

This handy travel lock for luggage. Not that you’re going on a vacation or anything – but you may want to lock your suitcase in the shelter.

Three gallons of gas, but chances are you can’t afford a car:

DVD of Pro Secrets for Catching Bigger Fish so that you can secure dinner:

Two Starbuck's mocha lattes - one for you and one for a friend for the big day out - Good times!

I know what you're thinking:

"RenaRF, this stuff SUCKS!!"

But let's be realistic. That stuff really has a practical purpose. Obtaining more nutritious food and safeguarding belongings in a shelter environment is a must for this income bracket.

So there you have it. My defense of the Bush tax cut. It's really simple and can be summed up in one sentence: Everybody gets some stuff. Try not to focus on the disparity in the stuff itself. Just be thankful that you got something.

And now, stop complaining and go back to watching Jerry Springer.

(Cross-posted at Daily Kos, My Left Wing, and ePluribus Media.)


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