Leah Platt

Leah Platt is a writing fellow at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Tax Traitors:

In the first days of the 107th Congress, with the Senate split 50-50, minority leader Tom Daschle was optimistic enough to quote Thomas Wolfe's famous line, "America is a place where miracles not only happen -- they happen all the time." Daschle was referring to a novel system of power sharing in the Senate that ensures Democrats an equal number of seats on each committee (though Vice President Dick Cheney still holds the tie-breaking vote on the floor). But after last week's performance in the Senate Finance Committee, which featured four of 10 Democratic members defying party leadership to sign on to a compromise tax bill, it will take more than a miracle to fend off the shamefully inequitable tax plan that is scheduled for a Senate vote today. Ironically, three of the senators who endorsed the plan in committee -- Max Baucus of Montana, John Breaux of Louisiana, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas -- are from poor, rural states that stand to gain the least from the top-heavy tax cuts (the...

(Some of) the People's Tax Cut:

The tax rebate is a policy made in sound-bite heaven. Forget complicated mouthfuls like phased-in reductions in marginal income tax rates; forget the AMT and the EITC. Just calculate the surplus, and put the excess money in the mail. It's not surprising then, that the rebate has been the only area of consensus in this year's steadfastly partisan tax debates. Endorsed by such unlikely allies as Pete Domenici, the ranking Republican on the Budget Committee, and Democratic leader Tom Daschle, both parties thought they won with the tax rebate. For Republicans, the instant payoff was a way to ensure support for the back-loaded Bush plan, which, as it was originally written, didn't include any reductions until 2002 (and then only a paltry $75 a person). Democrats saw a one-time refund as political cover, allowing them to deliver some kind of tax cut to their constituents while continuing to block the administration's broader plans. And, at least at first, Democrats rallied behind the tax...

Marketwatch

As the Dow rose with the sun on the morning of November 8 after a chaotic and unresolved election, the Wall Street talking heads checked in with what they clearly believe to be the country's most important political constituent: the stock market. Philip Coggan, editor of the Financial Times , reported on CNN's In the Money that the market "prefers a divided presidency and Senate." The next day, news of the presidential stalemate had yet to faze the markets, and Bruce Bartlett , an economist at the conservative National Center for Policy Analysis , told viewers that "markets like gridlock, they don't really want to see a lot of legislation coming out of Washington, they like things on automatic pilot." But as the battle for Florida dragged on, the market apparently changed its mind. On the Tuesday after election day, In the Money host Bill Tucker reported that "markets would like to see some sort of resolution." A guest on CNN's Moneyline , agreed, saying, "The market's just happy to...

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