THE WHITE HOUSE (FinalCall.com) – The Bush administration launched an all-out effort in late January to put a smiling face on what it considers to be its economic accomplishments, despite loud complaints from people stuck on the lower end of the economic ladder that the economic life is actually worse and not better. Literally dozens of administration economic officials went all around the country to say to the American people that Pres. Bush’s economic policies have created jobs and boosted economic growth.
In one week, the Commerce Secretary went to Rockford, Ill., and New Orleans. La.; the Energy Secretary hosted a day-long forum in Tunica, Miss.; the Treasury Secretary hosted a day-long round of radio interviews in Washington; and Pres. Bush made an economic speech in Sterling, Va., and devoted his weekly radio address to the economy.
“Unfortunately, just as we are seeing how our tax cuts have created jobs and opportunity, some in Washington want to repeal the tax relief. Others want to just let it expire in a few years,” Pres. Bush said in his radio address Jan. 21.
Speaking on tax cuts, energy costs and the rise in cost of health care, he took partial credit for the current upswing in the U.S. economy and urged the Congress to make the tax cuts permanent. According to the President, the tax cuts would help small businesses.
Not everyone agrees with his rosy scenario.
“He worships at the altar of tax cuts,” Dr. David Bositis, senior research fellow at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, told The Final Call. “Despite all his religiosity, he’s like a pagan with regard to talking about tax cuts.
“Except for the sort of hard-core free market people, small government people, there just aren’t that many people who really think that the tax cuts have been all that much of a benefit. And face it, tax cuts are not going to Blue Collar workers,” he continued.
Democrats have been hammering away at the tax cut theme of the White House, trying to drive home the point that tax cuts are only for the wealthy five percent of taxpayers, and that the middle class hardly benefits. “Doesn’t the President know that real wages are actually falling?” asked Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), according to a published report.
“Bush and his people can say that the economy is doing great all they want, and trot out macro-economic statistics, but the fact is most people don’t feel that the economy is great,” Dr. Bositis asserted. “Almost every one of Bush’s tax cuts you look at, the percentage of the money goes to the top one percent, to the top five percent, the top 10 percent of people with wealth in this country. It’s not going to people who are poor.”
Without the money in its coffers that are being paid to the wealthiest Americans, drastic cuts have been made to programs that benefit the poor, he further pointed out.
“Look at the debates they’re having now about cutting back on Medicaid; on cutting back on welfare; on cutting back on student aid; on cutting back on Section 8 vouchers. There are lots of things ordinary people, and especially poor people, are paying for. Somebody has to pay for Bush’s tax cuts,” Dr. Bositis continued. “Some of it’s being paid for with borrowed money. And other things are being paid for by poor people.”
The “borrowed money” comes in the form of larger and larger budget deficits. “There will come a time when deficits are going to hurt,” he explained. “They haven’t hurt yet, but there will come a time when deficits are seriously going to hurt people. Once the tax cuts are permanent, it’s going to be really tough to undo that, because it’s a lot easier to stop things from happening in Congress than it is to reverse them,” he said.