The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Editorial:
Tax cuts - for the wealthy. Bush's latest war on working people

May 12, 2003

After having declared the bombing and destruction of Iraq for the profit of the big U.S. weapons, construction and oil corporations a great victory, the Bush administration and Congress have turned their full attention to the home front. First on their agenda is a package of massive new tax cuts.

These tax cuts are expected to be huge, with the Administration saying it wants half a trillion dollars over 10 years. In fact, the best estimates put the figure at one trillion dollars. And, despite promises by the Bush administration that there is something in it for everyone, almost all of it will go to the wealthiest sectors of the population. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the average working family will have their federal income taxes reduced by only $217 a year. That is, if those families still have a job. A family with a one-million-dollar income will have their taxes slashed by $93,500 each year – more than the total income of two average working families.

And the tax cuts don't stop there. Congress is also about to enact more big tax cuts for the biggest companies.

Of course, the politicians mouth their usual justifications for tax cuts to the wealthy. They claim that cutting taxes to the wealthy will "stimulate" economic and job growth. If that really worked, then we wouldn't have such high unemployment – since Congress has been passing tax cut after tax cut for the wealthy. Nonetheless, the corporations cut over two million jobs during the last three years and stopped investing, leading to a recession from which there is no recovery in sight.

In fact, all these tax cuts do is insulate the wealthiest people and corporations from the effects of the downturn, putting a much bigger burden on the shoulders of the working population. The federal government slashes aid to education, Medicare and Medicaid, veterans' benefits – and the small aid that is left for the unemployed. It also cuts block grants and revenue sharing to state and local governments, which then cut social programs, public services and education. At the same time, they cut jobs of public service employees and teachers. Cuts cascade one after the other, feeding further cuts.

Make no mistake about it. In the end, workers pay still more taxes. After the federal, state and local governments impose all those cuts in social services, they use those cuts to justify higher fees, excise taxes, sales taxes and property taxes, that is, taxes that are paid most heavily by working people.

The massive tax cut package making its way through Congress right now is simply part of the larger and unending war of the capitalist class against all working people.

We are not served by this system that takes money from those who do all the work and gives it to the wealthy few. Tax the wealthy, those who today live off the labor of others.