News Release

Below the Surface of Bush’s Speech


Director of the National Urban League Institute for Opportunity and Equality, Spriggs said today: “President Bush misspoke when he said that he was offering tax relief to the $25,000 a year waitress-mom who faced a 50 percent marginal tax rate for working overtime. Her high tax rate comes from being close to the phase-out level of the Earned Income Tax Credit. Because she is getting the Earned Income Tax Credit, she owes no positive income tax, and therefore receives no benefit from the Bush tax cut. She and her children will not benefit from the president’s proposed doubling of the child credit, because he does not make the credit refundable. So, she will continue to face the high marginal tax rate she now faces.”
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Co-author of Social Security: The Phony Crisis, Baker said today: “President Bush engaged in old-fashioned fear mongering on Social Security. He implied that the program can’t pay for benefits for the baby boomers. The Social Security trustees report clearly shows that it can pay all scheduled benefits for the next 37 years, with no changes whatsoever, and even after that point, it would always be able to pay a larger real (inflation adjusted) benefit than what current retirees receive. Bush significantly understated the rate of return that the program will provide most beneficiaries, and he implied that he has some mechanism to raise this return, which he does not. If he applied his school testing standards to his own understanding of Social Security, he would flunk badly.”
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President of the National Center for Policy Research for Women and Families, Zuckerman said today: “The tax cut offers billions for America’s richest, and little for America’s poorest — since their payroll taxes would not be affected. Other than funds for education reform, George W. Bush offered little for our most vulnerable children — except his proposed Federal Compassion Capital Fund. This fund would average just over a million dollars per state per year to provide a mentor to children with a parent in prison and ‘to support other local efforts to fight illiteracy, teen pregnancy, drug addiction, and other difficult problems.’ The contrast between the budget for this ‘compassion fund’ for poor children and the tax cuts for America’s billionaires could hardly be more stark.”
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Co-director of United for a Fair Economy and co-founder of Responsible Wealth, the organization that circulated the “Call to Preserve the Estate Tax” signed by prominent millionaires and billionaires, Collins said today: “President Bush called again for repeal of the estate tax. But he failed to address the potential downsides of repeal including loss in state and federal revenue, the decline in charitable giving, and the dangerous drift toward further concentrations of wealth and power.”
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For further information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167