Philip Harvey

Recent Articles

Gingrich's Time Bomb: The Consequences of the Contract

Did anyone read the fine print? The Contract with America has been devilishly constructed with provisions that will set off a fiscal -- and social -- explosion years from now.

T he Republicans' Contract With America is a deceptive document. While its sponsors denounce the welfare state, the Contract itself calls for cuts in only two specific areas: Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and the crime prevention initiatives of the 1994 anti-crime bill. At the same time, the Contract promises a variety of new social benefits in the form of tax breaks. These include tax incentives for adoption and for the purchase of long-term care insurance, an elderly dependent care tax credit, a $500-per-child general tax credit, an increase in the amount of earned income retirees may receive without any reduction in their Social Security payments, and a cut in taxes on Social Security payments for the elderly with incomes over $34,000 (singles) and $44,000 (couples). These new benefits would be equivalent to entitlements that is, no further action by government is necessary to make such benefits available to all eligible individuals. Attacking the welfare state...