Senate Passes Massive, Irresponsible Tax Cut

Measure threatens fiscal stability, important social programs

President Bush and his allies in Congress today won Senate passage of a massive, unfair and irresponsible tax cut, jeopardizing the nation’s fiscal health and the future viability of programs relied on by millions of Americans.

The Senate bill, with a true cost likely to be much higher than its purported $1.35 trillion price tag, is less expensive and less skewed to the America’s wealthiest one percent than the version pushed by the Bush Administration and passed by the House of Representatives. Nevertheless, it is still irresponsibly large and unconscionably weighted to benefit the most prosperous Americans.

"The reckless and unfair tax cut passed by the Senate today threatens our economy and our ability as a nation to address critical needs," said People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas, who serves as one of the co-chairs of the Fair Taxes For All coalition. "It is vitally important that the conference committee not make the damage even greater by adopting more irresponsible elements from the House version of the bill and that conferees not try to make the cuts permanent."

Neas noted that nonpartisan budget analysts have said the tax cuts could put the stability of the Medicare and Social Security trust funds at risk, and radically restrict the ability of the federal government to invest in strengthening public schools, enforcing civil rights laws, and addressing the enormous impact of poverty and lack of access to health care for millions of American children.

"President Bush recently spoke at Notre Dame about the importance of government’s role in addressing poverty," said Neas, "but he continues to push for cuts that will dramatically constrain the ability of the federal government to address that or any other national priority."

Neas noted that Grover Norquist, one of President Bush’s key advisers and a leader of the lobbying campaign for the massive tax cut, recently acknowledged the radical anti-government goal at the heart of this proposal. Norquist is on record saying: "My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub."

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