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Bad Economy? Show Me Some Proof

Massachusetts Republican Andrew Card is out as White House chief of staff; Budget Director Josh Bolten is in.  In an unexpected White House shake-up, President Bush appears to be heeding calls from concerned congressional Republicans to bring new blood to the White House team.

In the midst of Card’s resignation, Bolten has become an object of widespread media speculation and degradation.  The media have used the replacement to confirm their self-perceived notion that Bush has absolutely no clue what he is doing, which is easy to do when the liberal media live in an alternative reality of their own creation.  What kind of man is he?  Is he in Rove’s camp?  Is Bolten going to oversee further destruction of terrorists’ civil liberties?!  God help us!

Yesterday there was rumor that Bolten’s first suggestion as chief of staff was to can Treasury Secretary John Snow, citing the need for someone who can do a better job selling the nation’s robust economic strength and progress to the New York Times.  If more people read the Wall Street Journal, which reports the actual news and not its opinion or version of it, we wouldn’t need to replace the secretary of the Treasury.  The puppet-master can only do so much; at some point it is up to the often uncooperative puppet [the liberal press] to report the real deal.

In the March 31 edition of the Wall Street Journal, it was reported that corporate pretax profit for 2005 was up a record 14.4%, the strongest since 1992.  Logic follows that corporate tax receipts are also up 14.4%.  Additionally, the Department of Commerce reported that GDP grew at a solid rate of 3.5% in 2005, up from the previous year.  In the employment department, the bureau of labor statistics reported that unemployment claims for March were down 10,000 from the previous month, and the economy added some 243,000 jobs in February, bringing the 12 month total to 2.1 million.  Consumer confidence is strong also; retail sales were up 6.7% from February 2005.  

If you ask me, Secretary Snow, as well as former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan have done fine jobs touting the strength of our economy; it’s the liberal press, set on a gloom-and-doom agenda no matter what the facts happen to be, that doesn’t want to hear it.

The liberal media love to complain about the tax cuts for the rich, which amounted to a paltry 3% across-the-board cut in individual income tax rates, in comparison with JFK’s 20% cut in the top marginal rate, which went from 91% to 70% in 1962.  Capital gains tax rates were cut to 19%, from 25% under Kennedy.  The cost of Kennedy’s tax cut package amounted to 12.6% of federal revenues and 2% of the economy, compared with the Bush statistics of 6% and 1.1%, respectively.  Kennedy’s tax cut was more than twice the inexistent “expense” of the Bush tax cuts, and disproportionately favored the wealthy, to Kennedy’s own admittance to Walter Cronkite in a press conference.  Kennedy’s cuts never expired; Bush’s expire in 2008.

While all evidence points to the smashing success of the Bush tax cuts, the liberal media are intent on preserving their bubble of pseudo-reality.  The New York Times editorial board recently denounced the proposed permanent extension of the 15% capital gains rate as a fiscally irresponsible move that favors the wealthy over the poor.  I guess the middle class really has disappeared, because for Democrats, only two types of people exist in America, the wealthy elite and the “overworked” welfare recipients, as is evidenced by my parents’ 2005 tax return.

The Times fails to mention that the capital gains tax hits every single American homeowner upon the sale of their home, thanks to Bill Clinton’s 1998 extension of the capital gains tax to home sales.  While the 1998 rule changes exempted all homes with a sale price of less than $500,000, I can tell you that inflation renders Clinton’s “exemption” insignificant.  In addition, the last time I checked, homeownership hovered above 70%.  Take that, Paul Krugman.  Tax cuts benefit the rich because liberal Democrats have redefined “rich” as being anyone who owns a home, sends their kids to college, and drives a car with leather interior.

God willing, more and more Americans will subscribe to real news and keep the Republicans in power.  If Democrats return to power, $1 million estates will be subject to a 60% estate tax, and income tax rates will return to 15%, 28%, 31%, 36%, and 39.6%, from the current rates of 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, and 35%.  Marriage will again become economically disadvantageous, and taxes on home sales will kill the “rich”.  Secretary Snow doesn’t need to be fired; rather, America needs to re-elect the Republican Congress in November and fire the liberal press.

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Mr. Lewis is a freelance writer in Washington, D.C.

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