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Bear Left!

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Volume III, Number 44 February 2003

This Week's Articles:

Cowboy George

Paul Corrigan

The Bush proposal to eliminate the "double taxation" of dividends is the key component in the tax package sent to Congress by the Administration. The Administration's political spin is that the proposed legislation will unleash billions of dollars of retained corporate earnings into the economy. Critics of the proposal have compared the legislation to the bursting of a dam: some people will be helped, but the majority will be hurt. Don't kid yourself that the administration or our representatives on Capital Hill have thought out the ramifications of the program on the lives of American citizens. The Bush administration is oblivious to the adverse ramifications of the proposed legislation. The cowboy in Bush chooses a course of action and then searches for a marketing spin to justify the action.

Joe Millionaire

Tim Francis-Wright

This week, the Bush administration offered another radical change to an aspect of tax policy. It proposed to replace most of the current smorgasbord of tax-deferred savings plans for retirement and education with a simplified system that features only three options. Like the proposal to eliminate income tax on most corporate taxes received by individuals, it does little to solve a problem or rectify an inequity facing ordinary Americas. But it does benefit the trust-fund set, and in a big way.

The Bush savings plan would establish three accounts: Lifetime Savings Accounts that could be used anytime and for any purpose; Retirement Savings Accounts that would replace all sorts of Individual Retirement Accounts; and Employer Retirement Savings Accounts that would supersede 401(k) and similar retirement plans. The nasty implications of the plans are buried in the details, and the details make the plan ideal for millionaires and lousy for everyone else.

[Click on a title to read a particular article.]

Last Week's Articles:

The Bush Administration's Penis Envy

Paul Corrigan

"Iraq must comply, or it will be made to comply with military force"—Secretary of State Colin L. Powell

It is that time of year. The holidays are over. Another National Football League season is culminating in the Super Bowl. Men across America are responding to their feelings of personal inadequacy by puffing out their chests and letting the world know that they have plenty of lead in their pencils. But the Super Bowl is just part of the pre-game ceremonies. America's premier team of peacocks, the Bush administration, has their plumes of feathers out in full display. America is going to war.

Parody of Lincoln

Tim Francis-Wright

February may not be the cruelest month, but it features some cruel ironies. On the 12th, Americans will commemorate the 194th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, who ended America's horrible legacy of chattel slavery and quashed a civil war. Republicans have always claimed to be the Party of Lincoln, but the party's national vigor depends in no small part on voters who despise what the Republican Party of 1860 stood for.

To its shame, the Party of Lincoln come to depend on white voters who hate black people. While the party's official positions are not racist in the least, its political strategies and tactics have catered to racist white voters, particularly in the states of the Confederacy.

[Click on a title to read a particular article.]

Older Articles:

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Fact of the Week

Received wisdom says that George Bush and his advisors decided shortly after the 11 September 2001 attacks on New York and Washington that the time had come to depose Saddam Hussein. However, key principal players in the Bush administration publicly called for President Clinton to remove Saddam Hussein from power back in January 1998. Back then, they claimed that full inspections were "highly unlikely" as well as fruitless. (Now, they have to argue just on fruitlessness, because full inspections have resumed.)

Calling for a military ouster of Saddam Hussein back in 1998 were 21 signers of a letter to Clinton, including Elliott Abrams, now in charge of Middle East affairs at the National Security Council; John Bolton, now undersecretary of state for arms control and international security; Richard Perle, now the chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board; Donald Rumsfeld, now the Secretary of Defense; and Paul Wolfowitz, now Deputy Secretary of Defense. Thanks to this overlap, the decision to go after Saddam seems almost overdetermined.

Project for the New American Century web site.


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