President Signs Massive, Irresponsible Tax Cut

Measure threatens fiscal stability, important social programs

President Bush signed today 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. While this bill is somewhat less expensive and less skewed to the wealthy than the version originally pushed by the Bush administration, it is still irresponsibly large and unconscionably weighted to benefit the most prosperous Americans.

"The reckless and unfair tax cut signed by the president 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 a co-chair of the Fair Taxes For All coalition. "Fortunately, the extensive damage done by this tax cut to working families, older Americans and the poor is not compounded by a provision from the House version of the bill – an effort to make the cut permanent – because that provision failed to make it out of conference."

Neas noted that nonpartisan budget analysts have said the tax cut puts the stability of the Medicare and Social Security trust funds at risk, and radically restricts the ability of the federal government to invest in strengthening public schools, enforcing civil rights laws, and providing adequate health care coverage 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 has signed into law a tax cut that will dramatically constrain the ability of the federal government to perform that role."

Neas noted that Grover Norquist, one of President Bush’s key advisers and a leader of the lobbying campaign for the Bush tax cut, recently acknowledged the radical anti-government goal at the heart of this legislation. 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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