Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life: More smoke and mirrors on April Fool's Day .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life

Saturday, April 01, 2006

More smoke and mirrors on April Fool's Day

This morning, POTUS used his weekly radio address to attempt to convince America that his tax plan is needed to grow the economy. I don't know about you, but the measley $300 I got didn't help my economy much - it barely made a dent in my gas tank, now that I'm paying twice what I used to fill up my car. I'd say that was a poor trade. The rich get the gold mine, the rest of us get the shaft.

"The evidence is overwhelming: The opponents of tax cuts were wrong," he said. "Tax relief has helped to create jobs and opportunities for American families, and it's helped our economy grow."
So where's the evidence? This is another example of the Bush administration's strategy. Repeat it often enough, and it becomes the truth. Not only is there no evidence, there's not even any indication that any economic sector is improving, other than for oil companies and wartime contractors. The only people putting more money in their pockets are CEOs of large corporations and the lobbyists who funnel their contributions to right-wing politicians.

Bush is down in the polls, which find most Americans objecting to the war in Iraq, and has said he recognizes that midterm election politics is making Republicans in Congress nervous. He used the popular GOP call for tax relief to appeal to Americans' pocketbooks with the April 15 filing deadline approaching.

"As tax day approaches later this month, many American families are now finishing their tax returns," Bush said. "And as you do, an important debate is taking place in Washington that will affect the amount you will pay in the years ahead."

That's funny, I just finished my tax return, and it still seems I'm paying more in taxes even though the deduction and exemption levels have gone up. It's got to be smoke and mirrors, because the only time I ever see anything related to tax relief is when the Treasury sends me my pittance to make it look like I'm getting some money back.

Someone is making a killing off of this tax relief scam, but it isn't the average taxpayer. Otherwise, why would dubya keep harping on the necessity of tax relief in order to score points. It can't be the poor schmucks who believed him when he got the "morality" vote in 2004. Most of them can't afford accountants and have to do their own tax returns, so surely they can see that the wool is being pulled over their eyes.

These tax cuts for the wealthy are being underwritten by our children and grandchildren. The bills have to be paid eventually, and the national deficit is at an all time high. Today's families are already paying the price for dubya's war with the lives of their husbands, wives, sons and daughters. We will continue to pay the price for this war in generations to come for the monetary debts incurred by this fiasco.

It's time we said, "No more!" We've had enough of this administration giving our money away to their friends while the rest of us scrimp to make ends meet; and our youth, the future of our country, go off to fight and die in a war that was started by a man who just wanted his place in history as a wartime president.

In his response to the presidential broadcast, retired Army general Wesley Clark pretty much ingored the tax cut issue, treating it as a mistaken priority.

He argued that the nation "is in danger from the administration's mistaken policies and priorities."

Clark offered a litany of missteps, from the failure to get bin Laden to the more than 2,300 U.S. military deaths in Iraq and the thousands wounded. Domestically, he cited several challenges, including rising gasoline prices, illegal immigration and the impact of global warming.

In addition to dissing the tax cut issue, he reiterated that the govenment has a duty to provide security to its citizens - something the Bush administration has failed to do by ignoring Osama bin Laden and starting a war that did more for terrorist recruitment than Al Qaeda could have done in a decade.

"This administration has taken us on a path to nowhere - replete with hyped intelligence, macho slogans and an incredible failure to see the obvious," Clark said in the broadcast.

The administration "has shown tragic incompetence in everything from nation building in Iraq to disaster relief in Louisiana," he said. "Let's face it: We're not going to win the war on terror unless we start making more friends and fewer enemies in the world, and we're not going to be able to protect the American people without a new strategy."

Clark joined House and Senate Democrats on Wednesday in calling for a strategy that would provide U.S. agents with the resources to pursue bin Laden, redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq, better equipment for the military and improved screening of containers and inbound cargo.

So there you have it. On April Fool's Day, the president attempts to fool us again, while his opposition tells it like it is. Who will you trust? Or better yet, who will you vote for in the next election?

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