Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Britney's Shaved Head


I'm not one of those curmudgeons who freaks out every time that Bradgelina moves the war off the front page of the Post, or Katie Couric decides to usher in a whole new era of network news with photos of the imbecile demon-spawn of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. I understand that we live in a demand-based economy and that there is far more demand for brainless celebrity bullshit than there is, say, for the fine print of the Health and Human Services budget.

But that was before this week. I awoke this morning in New York City to find Britney Spears plastered all over the cover of two gigantic daily newspapers, simply because she cut her hair off over the weekend.

(...)

On the same day that Britney was shaving her head, a guy I know who works in the office of Senator Bernie Sanders sent me an email. He was trying very hard to get news organizations interested in some research his office had done about George Bush's proposed 2008 budget, which was unveiled two weeks ago and received relatively little press, mainly because of the controversy over the Iraq war resolution. All the same, the Bush budget is an amazing document. It would be hard to imagine a document that more clearly articulates the priorities of our current political elite.

Not only does it make many of Bush's tax cuts permanent, but it envisions a complete repeal of the Estate Tax, which mainly affects only those who are in the top two-tenths of the top one percent of the richest people in this country. The proposed savings from the cuts over the next decade are about $442 billion, or just slightly less than the amount of the annual defense budget (minus Iraq war expenses). But what's interesting about these cuts are how Bush plans to pay for them.

Sanders's office came up with some interesting numbers here. If the Estate Tax were to be repealed completely, the estimated savings to just one family -- the Walton family, the heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune -- would be about $32.7 billion dollars over the next ten years.

The proposed reductions to Medicaid over the same time frame? $28 billion.

1 comment:

  1. warszawa6:03 AM

    "If the Estate Tax were to be repealed completely, the estimated savings to just one family -- the Walton family, the heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune -- would be about $32.7 billion dollars over the next ten years.

    The proposed reductions to Medicaid over the same time frame? $28 billion."


    Breathtaking stuff. Taibbi can be very good indeed, sometimes.

    - See also:

    MOUNTAIN VIEWS: EISENHOWER'S WORST NIGHTMARE NOW HARSH REALITY FOR AMERICANS

    By John Hanchette

    [...]

    Don't believe me? Consider this mind-twisting equation from a well-researched article in the current issue of "Vanity Fair" magazine: Private federal contractors now "absorb the taxes paid by everyone in America with incomes under $100,000."

    Viewed a bit differently, "more than 90 percent of all taxpayers might as well remit everything they owe directly ... to some contractor rather than to the IRS."

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=103x264338

    - A poster called 'Lasher' comments:

    "So you privatize as much as you can and give outfits like SAIC [Science Applications International Corporation] a blank check from the US treasury. Then you send your cronies to these companies that are doing what the government used to do, where they 'earn' $10 million a year. They are grateful. They sponsor big fundraisers and donate billions to think tanks that change the truth for you. They hire the next batch of cronies you send over. You need to fill key government jobs where individuals decide how the government's money will be spent. You pick more of these cronies from private sector companies.

    It's a win-win."

    ReplyDelete