News Release

The Economy: The Other Credibility Gap

ROBERT McINTYRE
McIntyre, director of Citizens for Tax Justice, said today: “Recently a lot of issues have come to light regarding presidential credibility about the war on Iraq. The administration also has serious credibility problems when it comes to economics. For example, the president has given numerous speeches implying that most people stand to gain $1,000 or more from his latest tax bill, but that’s not true. In fact, over the next two years, the median tax reduction will be only about $120. After 2004, the median tax cut drops to zero.”
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DEAN BAKER
Co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Baker said today: “We now know that a good part of President Bush’s public support for the Iraq war has been based on false or highly misleading information. While polls have shown that 53 percent of the public believe that Saddam Hussein was ‘personally involved’ in the massacre of Sept. 11, no evidence of this connection has ever been produced. The war against Social Security has been fueled by similar, wide-ranging deceptions. Mention Social Security to anyone under 50 and the most likely response will be something like ‘I’m never going to see any of that money.’ Yet there is no evidence to support this belief…. The ‘coalition of the willing’ in the war on Social Security is led by the financial industry, which stands to earn hundreds of billions of dollars in fees and commissions if it can hold Social Security funds in individual accounts.”
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DIANA ZUCKERMAN
Zuckerman, president of the National Center for Policy Research for Women & Families, said today: “In the State of the Union this year, the president stated that ‘we will not pass along our problems to other Congresses, to other presidents, and other generations.’ Unfortunately, this is far from the case. The record deficits brought about by the tax cuts mean that current generations and future generations will suffer. High unemployment and huge deficits disproportionately harm women and children, since jobs are harder to find and healthcare, education, childcare, and safety-net programs are getting cut.”
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CHRIS TILLY
Tilly is a professor of economic and social development at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. He said today: “The number of people collecting unemployment benefits has reached its highest level in 20 years. The Bush administration has remained curiously silent on this growing crisis except to repeat the tax cuts mantra. As the Wall Street Journal reported on July 15, 2003, the Republicans’ talking point on this issue is to state that ‘With the tax cuts, private forecasters are now expecting a return to higher growth, increased jobs, and lower unemployment over the next year and a half.’ What’s striking about this statement is what it leaves unsaid: despite huge tax cuts already in effect, the economic ‘recovery’ has not lifted workers’ fortunes. In fact, by several measures, including average wages, workers are worse off now than they were in the early 1970s — and federal policies have contributed to the slide.”
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TOBY CHAUDHURI
Chaudhuri is the national press secretary of the Children’s Defense Fund. He said today: “More than 700 youths living in households being denied the child tax credit check, which their richer friends and neighbors will receive beginning late this week, will surround the White House this Wednesday [July 23] to demand that President George Bush not delay their families’ fair share.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Norman Solomon, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167