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December 14, 2005


Watch these guys. It will be 1993 all over again if the Dems regain Congress and try to reverse any of this grotesque upward income redistribution. According to Republican spinners, '93 was the year of the largest increase in history.

“The largest tax increase in the world,” said Representative Deborah Price, an Ohio Republican.

“The largest tax increase in the history of civilization,” ranted Representative Philip M. Crane, an Illinois Republican.

Of course, with inflation figured in, Ronald Reagan's tax increase was the largest ever. But that little arithmetic problem aside, what's avoided in the rightwing cant is who mostly got taxed by Clinton's increase.

After that increase, people earning all the way to $140,000 in taxable income paid less after Clinton's than before in income taxes. It's true, the "average" taxpayer paid $1,500 more in income taxes per year. But that sleight-of-hand mixes billionnaires with minimum-wage earners. The only real increase everyone paid was for the gasoline tax.

Ah, but how do we show this visually when teevee won't even show the people who work the service jobs?

I remember several years ago showing my students La hora de los hornos. It included a whole bunch of UN stats about disparity of wealth in Argentina in the late 1960s.

The American students in the class (there were two from the Subcontinent, who had a different reaction) all came out of it saying, well, gosh, if one percent of the country held 40% of the wealth, I'd be that angry too.

I said, um, well...

But they couldn't, wouldn't believe it.

Well (she says, answering her own question), maybe one very visual way of explaining this is that people making less than $15 can't afford decent housing. That elementary school teachers and police officers and nurses--to say nothing of retail workers--can afford decent housing.

And again, to help pay for this orgy of redistribution, the House passed the appropriation bill for education, labor and HHS. It cuts education programs and home heating oil subsidies. It passed 217-215, with Nancy Pelosi holding her caucus together yet again. At least there will be something for the Dems to run on, but this is an absolutely shameful performance by the Congress.

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