Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Bush Tax Cuts Put Into Perspective

With all the class warfare being fought by the Democrats, I found this story to be a great analogy for the recent Bush tax cuts. This gets to the heart of who benefitted from the tax cuts, and the absurdity of liberal Democrats claims of "tax cuts for the rich".

by: David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D
Professor of Economics
University of Georgia

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for dinner and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
So, that's what they decided to do.
The ten men ate dinner in the restaurant every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve.
"Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20." Dinner for the ten now cost just $80.
The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still eat for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his
'fair share?'
They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from verybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to eat their meal.
So, the restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.
And so:
The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings).
The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to eat for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.
"I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man," but he got $10!"
"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than me!"
"That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"
"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"
The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.
The next night the tenth man didn't show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!
And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start eating overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Expensive Bird Cage Lining

The NY Times reported earlier today that the US military failed to secure 380 tons of explosives in Iraq. These explosives are now unaccounted for, and are presumed to be in the hands of terrorists. Of course, John Kerry was quick to label US efforts in Iraq "incompetent". Apparently, the Bush administration was warned in May of 2003 about the explosives cache.

The NY Times failed to report that the US military has either destroyed or secured over 400,000 tons of munitions since the invasion began. That's no typo - 400,000 tons! Granted, the munitions secured and/or destroyed to date are of various types and strengths. The 380 tons supposedly missing are apparently quite lethal.

However, it is still unknown as to whether the missing explosives were taken in the buildup to war, during the invasion, after the invasion and before the warning to the Bush administration, or after the warning to the Bush administration. Given the harsh critique of the Bush administration by the Times, and because the article failed to provide proper context by mentioning the munitions that have been destroyed, it's clear that the NY Times is using their front page as a massive pro-Kerry editorial. Once again, another issue of the NY Times is better suited to catch parrot guano than it is to provide fair and accurate reporting.

Numbers Kerry Does Not Want You to See

To further expose John Kerry as a political fraud, let's turn our attention to the Kerry Tax Myth.

Kerry has repeatedly stated that the Bush tax cuts favored the rich. Kerry would have you believe that the wealthy are not paying their fair share. Kerry would have you believe that our existing tax policy favors the wealthy. Let's take a look at the numbers.

In 2002, total individual income tax receipts were roughly $850 billion. 2.4 million filers earned over $200K in 2002, and paid 40% of all Federal income taxes, or $133,740 in taxes per return. The 92.6 million filers who earned less than $50K paid less than 13% of all Federal taxes, or $1,100 in taxes per return. Clearly, US tax policy is structured so that the wealthiest Americans pay a disproportionate share of taxes, by a factor of over 100:1.

It should therefore come as little surprise that the wealthiest Americans received a larger total dollar tax break as a result of the Bush tax cuts. In fact, one would be hard pressed to find a man paying $1,100 per year to tell a man paying $133K per year "I deserve a tax cut, and you don't".

The truth is that any across-the-board tax cut such as George Bush's would have provided a larger tax break to the wealthy, simply because they pay so much more. But John Kerry ignores this truth, and contends that Bush favors the wealthy.

The truth is that Kerry would not be significantly impacted by any tax increase because most of his (wife's) assets are invested in tax free assets. But Kerry implied in the third debate that he'd be impacted by his proposed tax increases.

The question for American voters on Novemer 2nd is becoming: Do you want the truth, or do you want John Kerry?

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Stay at Home Moms: Need a "Real Job"

According to the woman who just might be our first lady for the next 4 years, stay at home moms don't have real jobs. This was revealed in a recent interview in which Teresa Heinz Kerry stated about Laura Bush: "I don't know that she's ever had a real job - I mean, since she's been grown up. So her experience and her validation comes from important things, but different things".

On the one had, Heinz Kerry nominally acknowledged the importance of being a stay at home. But on the other, she has the nerve to 1) state that stay at home motherhood isn't a real job, and 2) assert that somehow Laura Bush's "validation" is different from other women.

So USANow asks: What is it about a housewife's work that isn't "real"? Are maintaining a home and doing charity work not "real" accomplishments. Is cooking dinner not "real" work. Is volunteering as a room mother at your child's school not a "real" contribution? Is having the flexibility to stay at home to care for your sick children not a "real" benefit to your family? Is being home all summer for your children so they're not in day care not of "real" value to children? This is not to say that working outside the home is a bad thing, but rather attempts to minimize the contributions of stay at home mothers compared to working mothers are misguided at best.

We can conclude either 1) Heinz Kerry judges our contributions to society based purely on the monetary implications, or 2) Caring for our families is an insignificant contribution to society when compared to "real" professions.

Today we learn that Heinz Kerry has since apologized, stating "I had forgotten that Mrs. Bush had worked as a school teacher and librarian". Apparently Laura Bush had a couple of "real" jobs, before she became a stay at home mom. This apology tells us all we need to know about Heinz Kerry's view of stay at home motherhood.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

MAJOR News From the ACLU

The ACLU has a long tradition of breaking new ground with respect to destroying the fabric of this nation. The organization's attempts to remove any and all references to God are well documented. ACLU lawyers have worked very hard to ensure teenagers can get abortions without parental consent. They have sued Catholic Charities in an attempt to force the charitable organization to provide employee benefits that are contrary to Catholic teaching.

In this backdrop, today's news is still a shock. The Ford and Rockefeller Foundations have recently adopted new standards for organizations which receive financial aid. The ACLU has found this new language so offensive, and so restrictive, that they have turned down over $1 million in financial assistance. On one hand, the ACLU deserves respect for upholding their standards and resisting the urge to compromise for financial reward. However, let's take a look at this new language that the ACLU finds problematic:
  • Ford Foundation: Bars recipients of its funds from engaging in any activity that "promotes violence, terrorism, bigotry, or the destruction of any state."
  • Rockefeller Foundation: States recipients of its funds may not "directly or indirectly engage in, promote, or support other organizations or individuals who engage in or promote terrorist activity."

    In short, the ACLU refuses to agree to refrain from activities that promote violence, terrorism, bigotry, or state destruction. If there was any debate that the ACLU is a destructive force in this nation, these latest developments remove all doubt. Let's just hope that neither the Ford nor the Rockefeller Foundations knuckle under and change their language to suit the ACLU.
  • CNN Again Shows Bias

    At the risk of being nit-picky about our nation's liberal media, I must point out yet another example of bias displayed by CNN.

    CNN has been tracking the results of the weekly CNN/USA Today/Gallup polls. In the latest poll, for the period October 14 - 16, George Bush came out with an 8 point lead. Given the fact that this race has been too close to call, an 8 point lead by either candidate is major news. In addition, Kerry was leading by 1 point in the previous week, so the results indicated a 9 point swing in one week.

    Given these results, what headline would you write? How would you clearly convey these surprising results in an eye-catching headline?

    USANow would publish this headline: "Major Swing in Presidential Poll". Alternatively, "Bush Takes Lead in Latest Poll". Considering Bush went from 1 point down to 8 points ahead in one week, either one of those headlines would be appropriate. In fact, even "Bush Surges Ahead in Latest Poll" is a fair headline.

    How does CNN characterize these poll results? "Poll: Presidential Race Still Tight". Still tight? An 8 point lead is "tight"? Perhaps CNN's wishful thinking is bleeding through to their headlines.

    Here is the graphic and the accompanying headline from CNN's website.

    Friday, October 15, 2004

    Democrats Leaving Dirty Work to Black Leaders

    At this point in the presidential campaign, it should be obvious to even the most casual observer that the Democratic party uses race-baiting as a strategic weapon. Simply put, they prey on black fears of racism to garner votes. Although class warfare and the victim game are other Democratic party favorites, creating racial divisions is clearly their weapon of mass destruction.

    In yet another example of race baiting, Drudge is reporting that the Democrat party is instructing their members to make up voter intimidation stories where none exists. Specifically, they say "If no signs of intimidation have surfaced, issue a preemptive strike". What is the nature of this "preemptive strike"? They are giving their minority leaders talking points to bring up issues from the past. They are also encouraging minority leaders to express concern about intimidation tactics, even if no such tactics have been observed. Clearly, Democrats expect blacks to vote in larger numbers through the mere mention of the word "disenfranchisement". So tell me: Who ends up looking like the idiot when a minority leader makes unsubstantiated claims - the scumbag Democrat who came up with the talking point, or the minority leader? Clearly, the minority leader.

    This is quite pathetic. The Democratic party has sunk to such lows that they are willing to feed the flames of racial division just to get their man elected. They are putting up minority leaders as sacrificial lambs, left to cry wolf again and again. I can't wait for the day when the black community wakes up to the reality that the Democrats are making them play the stooge on the national political scene just to get a few votes. The Democrats know politicians like Sharpton, Jackson, Sadiki Kambon, Jew Don Boney, etc., will never get elected to national positions because they've burned so many bridges with voters who see through their race baiting tactics. But the Democrats don't care about their black activist henchman, for they are disposable. They are simply pawns used to stir up racial tensions and to demonize Republicans. Quite ironic that those same politicians refer to Colin Powell as "Uncle Tom".

    Here is the snippet of the instructions from the Democratic Party.

    Wednesday, October 13, 2004

    Aussies Prove Strong

    In what may be a foreshadow of things to come on November 2nd, Australia voted this past weekend to re-elect the conservative incumbent, Prime Minister John Howard. The labor party campaigned vigorously against Howard's war record, and their candidate, Mark Latham, promised to bring troops home by Christmas. Howard, on the other hand, pledged to keep Australian troops in Iraq until Iraq security forces are prepared to handle the job themselves.

    To be fair, Howard scored well on domestic issues. Like the United States, Australia's unemployment, inflation, and interest rates are low by historical standards. In addition, the Australian economy has grown in each of Howard's 9 years in office. As a result, the liberal Labor Party was forced to make the Iraq War the centerpiece of their campaign. Unfortunately for the liberals, not only did Howard win the election, but the conservative party increased their majority in parliament.

    USANow is left to wonder: Will the United States follow the path of the Aussies or the Spaniards?

    Monday, October 11, 2004

    Kerry Hypocrisy: Tax Avoidance

    During Friday's presidential debate, John Kerry again stated that he plans to raise taxes on people making more than $200,000 per year. He worked the class-warfare issue by suggesting only 3 people in the auditorium would be impacted by the plan; Kerry, Bush, and moderator Charles Gibson. As it turns out, John Kerry was distorting his personal reality, as his overall tax rate is nowhere near that paid by a family making $200K/year. In fact, Kerry pays taxes at a rate less than a family making $30K/year!

    As reported in today's Wall Street Journal, John and Teresa Heinz Kerry made roughly $6.8 million dollars in 2003. Assuming the Kerry's could claim $1 million in deductions, they would be expected to pay $2,011,000 in taxes. But somehow, the Kerry's managed to limit their tax liability to $725K, or slightly more than 10% of their income. By comparison, a family making $30K per year pays 14% taxes.

    Kerry cannot be faulted for utilizing available tax deductions. However, Kerry's statements Friday night clearly gave the false impression to the American people. Kerry stated that he should bear a greater tax burden than the average American, when in fact the myriad tax shelters employed by the Kerry's ensure they pay far less. If Kerry was sincerely concerned about fairness in the US tax policy, if he sincerely believes he should carry a greater burden given his resources, he'd campaign to implement meaningful revisions to the Alternative Minimum Tax. But Kerry is not interested in fairness, he's interested in getting elected. To that end, he demonizes the wealthy and advocates tax rate increases to which he is personally immune.

    On a related note, George Bush paid over 30% of his income in federal income taxes.

    Friday, October 08, 2004

    Iraqi Sanctions Were Collapsing

    Lost in the headlines about the lack of WMD in Iraq is the fact that the UN sanctions against the Hussein regime were collapsing. After years of accepting bribes from Saddam Hussein as part of the UN Oil for Food Program, it appears that French politicians had assured Hussein that they would veto any US resolution which called for the use of military force in Iraq. Similarly, Russia and China (two other members of the 5 member UN Security Council) were beneficiaries of below-market crude contracts, and favored the removal of UN sanctions.

    In a report issued this week which detailed contract recipients and bribes by Hussein's regime, French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua and businessman Patrick Maugein were cited. Maugein, who owns a refinery in Mantua, Italy and was considered a "conduit to Chirac" by Iraqi officials, was awarded contracts for 25 million barrels of below-market oil by Iraq. As a close associate and financial backer of Chirac, Maugein was clearly in a position to influence France policy. As Interior Minister, Pasqua held the same influence.

    Fast forward to today under the assumption the United States never invaded Iraq. UN sanctions would have likely been lifted. Saddam Hussein's regime would be financially strong through Oil for Food kickbacks (which yielded billions of dollars) and $50/barrel crude. Al Qaeda, who would be looking for a new base of operations, and Saddam Hussein, would share a common enemy: The United States.

    John Kerry would lead you to believe that (Saddam Hussein - UN Sanctions + $billions + Al Qaeda) = World Peace. I'd like to think that even Jacques Chirac could see the flawed logic of that equation.

    Wednesday, October 06, 2004

    Democrats Harassing GOP Offices

    Yesterday, 100 Democrats barged into the GOP headquarters in Orlando Florida and vandalized offices. Several of the "protestors" now face assault charges. More details here. In March of last year, the GOP headquarters building in Madison, Wisconsin was hit with bricks and paint bombs.

    Today on the Drudge Report we see a snapshot of Democrats protesting inside GOP headquarters in Milwaukee.

    Democrat Protestors Inside GOP Headquarters

    Several questions come to mind:

    1) Who would be so stupid as to plan such an event?

    2) These people were hollering in bull horns and standing on tables in other people's offices. Who would be so brazen and uncivil as to participate in such an event?

    3) What did these dimwits expect to gain out of this event?

    4) Most importantly, what will happen when American voters come to realize that Democrats seek political gain through intimidation and harassment?

    Democrat Proposal to Reinstate Draft Fails House

    Fortunately, the Democrat proposal to reinstate the military draft failed by a wide margin yesterday. The proposal, introduced by Democratic Representative Charlie Rangel, failed the house in a 402 - 2 vote. The lone support came from Democratic Representatives in Pennsylvania and California.

    In what is becoming standard operating procedure for the Democratic party, Charlie Rangel voted against his own bill.

    Draft Bill Sponsor Charlie Rangel

    Tuesday, October 05, 2004

    John Kerry Comments "Immoral"

    USANow has covered John Kerry's tactics of ignoring coalition contributions in the war on terror. We have covered John Kerry's irresponsible comments about Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi. Today, as reported by Matt Drudge, the President of Poland speaks out about John Kerry's tendency to ignore allied contributions for political gain.

    Here is what Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski had to say:

      "It is sad that a senator with 20 years of experience underestimates Polish sacrifice, this is sad. I do not think this was out of ignorance. There is one thing which should be stated clearly: this coalition is not just the United States, Great Britain, Australia alone; it also involves participation of Polish, Ukrainian, Bulgarian and Spanish soldiers who have died. It is immoral not to recognize the involvement we contributed based on our conviction that there should be unity in fighting terrorism, that there was a need to display international solidarity and that Saddam Hussein was a dangerous individual of this world. President Bush acted like a real Texan gentleman, he made sure to show appreciation for other countries' involvement in the coalition."

    Well said, President Kwasniewski.

    More from the Sistah (sic)

    Another article from Sistah (sic) Hill.

    Not only does this woman preach hatred and segregation, she does so in a rather inept manner. Her thesis is indiscernable admist a quagmire of run on sentences and incoherent thoughts. I would suggest that her message would come across much more clearly if she simply published "White bad, black good".

    So how does the Sistah (sic) make a living? Where is there a niche for a woman with such racially divisive views? Apparently the University of North Texas felt she was qualified to lead their Division of Equity and Diversity. Quite ironic that a woman such as Ms. Hill, who consistently writes of the evils of the white man and the perils of diversity in black schools, would have been chosen to lead UNT's diversity department. Fortunately for UNT students, it appears that Sistah (sic) Hill is no longer employed by the university.

    Make no mistake, diversity is a good thing for our nation. We all benefit from the collective knowledge gained through association with people from many cultures, relitions, and races. How unfortunate it is that purported "civil rights" activists are turning their backs on 50 years of progress, and preaching venemous messages of division and bigotry.

    Monday, October 04, 2004

    A Lesson in Diversity

    While waiting for the Metro bus a couple weeks ago, I picked up a copy of African American News & Issues. This paper is distributed at no charge to a couple dozen cities across Texas. I expected columnists would make the case that major universities are not diversifying rapidly enough. I expected that the columnists would make the case that diversity is an essential component of a world class education. I expected to hear a message of peace, unity, and equal opportunity. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

    According to Sistah (sic) Dr.Safisha Nzingha Hill, white members of state agencies have the unspoken mission of shutting down black universities. She suggests that white men and women in Austin are just waiting for any slip up on the part of administrators to shut historically black schools down. At that point in the article, it becomes clear that Sistah (sic) Hill is quite paranoid, not to mention racially adversarial.

    As I read further, I was shocked as the Sistah (sic) stepped up the racially divisive rhetoric. She states in her article that white folk have yet another plan to bring down black colleges.....through diversity! Yes, that's right. The civil rights activist, Sistah (sic) Dr. Safisha Nzingha Hill is proclaiming that too many whites will be admitted to black universities, at which point those universities will be nothing more than a memory. Unbelievable? Read the article yourself where she makes her case that diversity (in black schools) is the weapon that the white man will use to bring down black universities. Apparently the Sistah (sic) Doctor is so intolerant of whites that she views diversity as tantamount to extinction.

    What's really sad is that the African American News & Issues is supposedly distributed to 2 million people in the state of Texas. Perhaps USANow should not be surprised at the rhetoric being published. After all, this publication boasts that it is "100% black owned and managed". So at least the Newspaper is consistent in their message that diversity is a one way street, and whites are not welcome where blacks are the majority.

    Friday, October 01, 2004

    Why Bush Lost

    After watching the full 90 minute debate last night, I believe John Kerry was the victor. As many pundits have noted, Kerry was smooth and well spoken, while Bush was agitated and nowhere near the top of his game. To be sure, Bush had his moments, but the night belonged to Kerry for one simple reason: George Bush had several opportunities to expose the flaws in John Kerry's arguments, and he struck out.

    So now it's USANow's turn to bat.

    John Kerry repeatedly hammered Bush on the fact that the Iraq war is a distraction, and as a result we're allowing trouble to brew in North Korea and Sudan. What Bush should have said:
    "My opponent has said for several years that Saddam Hussein must be disarmed. My opponent had access to the same intelligence to which I did, and voted in support of military action. As to whether we should be focused on North Korea or Sudan, it is clear to anyone who has followed world events for the past 20 years that Iraq presented the clearest and most imminent danger to world peace. Iraq's nuclear weapons program was not as advanced as is North Korea's, due in part to Israel's pre-emptive strike on a nuclear facility many years ago. But regardless of their progress on the nuclear front, Iraq was ruled by a dictator intent on waging war in the middle east. This dictator attacked 3 separate nations over the past 20 years. This dictator deployed chemical weapons. This dictator would clearly do whatever he could to harm Israel and the United States. North Korea, on the other hand, has done no such thing. Certainly the intent of my administration is to help in the containment of North Korea's nuclear weapons program, but if I had to choose between containing North Korea or Iraq under Saddam Hussein, I'd make the same choice once again. With his statements, my opponent is showcasing the type of judgement that makes him unfit for command. He does not understand the nature and severity of global threats, and he does not understand that it is impossible to simultaneously negate every world threat. We must address the most severe threats first, and that is what we've done in Iraq."(confident head nod to moderator)

    John Kerry said this administration let Osama Bin Laden escape in the mountains of Tora Bora. Kerry said Bin Laden is still in Afghanistan. What Bush should have said:
    "What my opponent fails to realize is that the commander in chief does not dictate battlefield tactics. I am as disappointed as anybody that we have not yet brought Bin Laden to justice, but to suggest that his escape was a result of a poor strategy is a mistake. More importantly, it is not clear that Bin Laden is in Afghanistan. It is suspected that he is actually in the tribal regions of Pakistan, which leads me to a very important point. Before September 11th, Pakistan was not necessarily our ally. In fact, Pakistan helped bring the Taliban to power, and was a supporter of the Taliban. But through the diplomatic efforts of my administration in this war on terror, we are now receiving unprecedented cooperation from Pakistan. They are with us in our search for Bin Laden. They were instrumental in capturing Khalid Sheikh Muhammed. And in the face of great public opposition at home, President Musharraf remains committed to our alliance and committed to dismantling Al Qaeda. My opponent campaigns on the premise that we have no allies. My opponent says we are going it alone. My opponent says we have alienated the entire Muslim world. I'll ask my opponent to tell that to President Musharraf next time he visits our great nation." (confident not to moderator)

    John Kerry said we have spent $200 billion in the war against Iraq. What Bush should have said:
    Actually, $80 billion of that is allocated to the war in Afghanistan. I'm just thankful that my opponent's vote against so many of our key weapons systems were not deciding votes. Had other senators voted so consistently against defense initiatives, our military would not have had the tools they needed to perform so admirably on both fronts. (confident nod to moderator).

    So there you have it; Three John Kerry hanging curveballs, and three missed opportunities by George Bush to knock the ball out of the park.