"The American people are paying the highest taxes during peacetime in history," Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey declared last week, arguing for Bush's tax cut plan. Many Republicans have parroted the line, but none has explained it.
On Monday, Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill kicked off national "Small Business Week" by issuing a press release that claimed George W. Bush's proposal to cut the top income tax rate would benefit not only super rich folks, but more than three quarters of all small business owners as well. "Do you know who benefits from cutting the top tax rate? It's not who you think," said O'Neill, doing his best impression of a late-night cable pitchman. According to the Treasury Department, which is quickly gaining a reputation for fudging the numbers, 77 percent of small businessmen would get a tax break if the top rate were reduced from 39.6 percent to 33 percent, as Bush has proposed.
In his continuing effort to cater to swing voters, George W. Bush is venturing ever further onto Democratic turf. For example, his campaign touts the governor's support for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), intended to help working families who make too much for Medicaid but too little to afford private health insurance. "When the CHIP program was first implemented," a press release reads, "Governor Bush embraced it as an opportunity to help deliver health coverage to more than 423,000 children."
The U.S. Supreme Court did not allow cameras in the courtroom, but they were definitely allowed outside. So as the lawyers wrangled inside, protesters staged made-for-TV-protests outside.
For the first time in at least a week, this morning's mob outside the Supreme Court roughly resembled the mob vote on Election Day -- it was equally divided. Irate Bush supporters lately have tended to dominate protests and monopolize camera time in Florida. But today they were matched -- possibly outnumbered -- by Gore supporters in Washington, DC. On this one-year anniversary of the Seattle World Trade Organization Protests, this equal-opportunity mayhem proved that no single ideology has a monopoly on outlandish expression.
When Indiana Democrat Tim Roemer announced recently that he would retire from the House of Representatives at the end of this session of Congress, the officially cited reason was that he wanted to spend more time with his family. That's no doubt true. But it is surely also the case that Roemer didn't want to lose--as he most likely would have had he chosen to vie for re-election. Every 10 years, after the U.S. Census Bureau completes its tabulation of the country's inhabitants, congressional seats are reapportioned to reflect the state-by-state distribution of the population.