Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Senate to Future: F$@k You!

In a bold move to make the famed $700 billion bailout bill more palatable to house republicans, the Senate made it horrible.  In a bill that aims to add probably the largest single portion ever to the nation's multi-trillion-dollar debt, the Senate actually introduced . . . TAX CUTS!

Yes, that's right, as long as we're spending almost three-quarters-of-a-trillion-dollars we don't have, to bail out a bunch of shortsighted, rich pricks, we might as well blow an even bigger hole in the budget.

The tax cut bonanza includes language to prevent the Alternative Minimum Tax from effecting 20 million middle-class Americans, 8 billion dollars in tax relief to midwest disaster victims, and 78 billion dollars in additional lard to extend other tax breaks (unnamed in the article) and fund renewable energy.

On their own merits, arguments could be made for these provisions.  The AMT has been malfunctioning for years and hitting people it was never meant to.  Disaster victims are swell people and could use help getting back on their feet and not all renewable energy is as big a boondoggle as ethanol (no specifics on where that funding is going or what the other tax breaks are).  The point is, when you're taking out a couple thousand dollars in debt in the name of every man, woman and child is this country, you should at least be sensitive enough not to add to the insult, especially when the bill still doesn't contain any direct help for people losing their homes in the crisis this bailout is actually supposed to address.

I hope this blows up in house republicans' faces.  First they claim that they tanked the bill in a fit of pique because Nancy Pelosi blamed the financial crisis on the president.  We need this thing or we don't and if any of these guys actually thought they were consigning the U.S. financial system to total collapse on account of bruised feelings, I'd very much like to break more than their egos. It's more likely, though, that they just didn't want to admit that the government could actually be a solution to a problem the private sector created.  The Senate's hoping a little deficit-financed tax-cutting will buy them off.

In any case, these people need to go.  What is needed right now is a pragmatic solution negotiated with the best interests of the public in mind.  What we've got has already been held hostage to petty partisan scores and ridiculous ideological inflexibility.  This is unacceptable.