Friday, June 06, 2003

Matters of Emphasis (cont.)

From today's NYT on extending the child tax credit to the working poor:

But a Bush administration official said White House aides had concluded that there was political peril in being perceived as opposing a tax break for low-income working people, and that President Bush was likely to signal House Republicans soon that they should compromise with the Senate.

Yes, one could appreciate how, from a certain angle, opposing a tax break for low-income working people could be perceived as opposing a tax break for low-income working people. Delicate thing, public perception. Then there's the matter of not antagonizing your core constitutency in the process of managing this unseemly display of compassion:

Anticipating objections from the House, the bill approved by the Senate today added several more provisions favored by Republicans to the original relief for the minimum-wage families. The most significant would extend the full $1,000 child credit — increased from $600 in the new tax law — in 2010 to married couples making $110,000 to $150,000. Under current law, the credit begins to phase out for couples making $110,000.

The new provision would allow some couples earning up to $200,000 to receive a portion of the tax credit, depending on how many children they have.

Which I suppose puts an ironic twist on The Beatles "Taxman":
Let me tell you how it will be
There's one for you, 19 for me.

Lastly, there's this nugget:

Although almost every Senate Republican voted for the bill, some clearly were unhappy at having to do so under what they considered public pressure from liberal groups and Democrats. Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi voted for the bill, but as he did so he stuck his tongue out, put his finger in his mouth and made a gagging sound, indicating his apparent distaste for the bill.

You know, if we'd only voted for Strom Thurmond, we wouldn't have all these problems.

[Thanks to David Ezer for the heads up on ol' Trent.]