Death and Taxes in New Hampshire Ever since Ronald Reagan started pointing up into the House gallery during his State of the Union speeches to use some Everyman to define a particular issue politicians have used people as visual aids. Al Gore does it, when he asks some Iowa farmer to stand up, and then reminds a debate audience that Bill Bradley voted against the emergency funding that would have provided this poor guy with flood relief. As does Governor Bush. He gave us Tillie Burgin \(“one drill sergeant in the Army of CompasState address. And almost exactly a year later he gives us the McCormicks a working-class couple he might have described as “two foot soldiers in the Army of Lowered Expectations.” In introducing his tax reform plan designed to “knock down the tollbooth to the middle class,” Bush used Kevin and Glenda McCormick of Nashua, New Hampshire, to help sell his tax cuts. Kevin works for White Pine Software. And Glenda works for Bruce Transportation. Together they earn $50,000 a year, which makes their tax bill $3,920. Under the Bush tax cut plan they would receive a $1,722 reduction in their tax bill. Okay, but from there things get a little fuzzy. According to the Bush campaign press release, and remarks the Governor made at a press conference in Concord, New Hampshire, that $1,722 break will “save enough money for Glenda to stop working and return to being a full-time mom.” Well, not exactly. In a telephone interview, Glenda said the $1,722, “or maybe even a little more, will give me the option to stay at home, or at least not to have to work every day.” Glenda McCormick drives a school bus, and her children, who are homeschooled, ride along with her. “I’d like to cut back,” she said. Much of Bush’s tax plan is The Bush Estate aimed at the middle class: doubling the child tax credit from $500 to $1,000; allowing parents to contribute $5,000 a year per child to taxfree education savings accounts; slashing the marriage penalty; allowing taxpayers who do not itemize to deduct their charitable contributions; and eliminating the earning limit so the elderly can work without losing their Social Security. But the real big item in the Bush plan is the last one listed: the “death tax.” “Live Free or Die,” reads the New Hampshire state motto, and sooner or later we all do. Eliminating the death tax \(less melodramatically known as the save Bush himself far more than the $1,722 tax cut he’s offering the McCormicks even if it does allow Glenda to remain at home. At Bruce Transportation Glenda earns $10,000 a year driving a school bus. The G.W. Bushes paid $3.7 million in taxes last year, on income of $18 million. Inheritance taxes and they always come due won’t cost the McCormicks’ estate nearly as much as they would cost the descendants of GWB. “Love Boat,” from page 4 Pacific. Best of all: you can join her. Yes, you. It’s a seminar cruise sort of like The Nation’s, but with Paula Jones and some of her right-wing friends, including “journalists” Dolly Kyle Browning, Blanquita Cullum, Chris Ruddy, Joe Farrah, and Ed Timperlake as well as the folks who run Judicial Watch, which is sponsoring the whole thing. According to Judicial Watch’s website, Judicial Watch, Inc., a non-partisan, non-profit conservative foundation based in Washington, D.C., was established to serve as an ethical and legal “watchdog” over our government and judicial systems “to promote needed political and legal reform.” When these guys talk about reform, they’re not talking about campaign finance, and when they say conservative, they mean people who make Pat Buchanan look like a moderate. The Judicial Watch website is an archive full of anti-Clinton propaganda, from lawsuits the Judicial Watchers are sponsoring \(including one against Hillary Clinton, George Stephanopoulos, and James Carville for libeling Gennifer Flowuse to elevate these minor flaps to newsworthy scandals. In a sentence, Judicial Watch is best summed up by its literature promoting the cruise: it identifies Paula Jones as, simply, “Heroine.” How often do you get to spend an entire week with a genuine heroine? But you’d better get on board now, because they’re lifting the gangplank February 27. Fork over your seminar tuition anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000, depending on where you want to sleep and get on board. You’ll sleep well, too, knowing that you’re helping to pay Judicial Watch’s bills from the Jones suit, and you’ll get to meet the heroine herself, in the flesh. No wonder it’s billed as “The Cruise to Clean Up Corruption.” If you sit close enough, and listen real carefully, as you steam into Cabo San Lucas or Puerto Vallarta, maybe you’ll hear Paula Jones say, “I don’t think we’s in Arkansas no more, Toto.” FEBRUARY 4, 2000 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 5
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