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13 September 2003

The Tax-Cut Con

Paul Krugman in the New York Times explains the history of tax-cut politics - who benefits, who pays, how the US got where it is and where it can go from here.
Some quotes:

"It might seem impossible to put a populist gloss on tax cuts this skewed toward the rich, but the administration has been remarkably successful in doing just that."

"[T]hrough a combination of hardball politics, deceptive budget arithmetic and systematic misrepresentation of who benefits, Bush's team has achieved a major reduction of taxes, especially for people with very high incomes.
"But where does that leave the country?"

"If Grover Norquist is right ...the coming crisis will allow conservatives to move the nation a long way back toward the kind of limited government we had before Franklin Roosevelt. Lack of revenue, he says, will make it possible for conservative politicians ... to dismantle immensely popular government programs that would otherwise have been untouchable.
"In Norquist's vision, America a couple of decades from now will be a place in which elderly people make up a disproportionate share of the poor ... It will also be a country in which even middle-class elderly Americans are ... unable to afford expensive medical procedures or prescription drugs and in which poor Americans generally go without even basic health care. And ... a place in which only those who can afford expensive private schools can give their children a decent education."

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