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Saturday, September 04, 2004

BUSH'S "CULTURE OF OWNERSHIP" 

I don't know how long it will be at this URL, but here is John Cassidy on Bush's ambitious bid to make the rich richer and the poor poorer in the coming four years.

EXCERPT: A few weeks ago, George W. Bush crossed the Potomac to a community college in Annandale, Virginia, where he hosted an “Ask President Bush” town-hall-style meeting and took up a favorite campaign theme, saying that one of the things that separated him from his opponent was his intention to create a “culture of ownership.” The same day, the Bush-Cheney campaign released a new television ad that shows pictures of houses, workers, and businesses as the President announces, “One of the most important parts of a reform agenda is to encourage people to own something. Own their own home, own their own business, own their own health-care plan, or own a piece of their retirement. Because I understand if you own something, you have a vital stake in the future of America.”

The President’s ownership initiative hasn’t featured prominently in the media coverage of the campaign, which, strictly from a news perspective, is understandable: he hasn’t announced many specific proposals to back up his talk. But in downplaying the Bush Administration’s economic agenda the media is missing one of the biggest domestic stories of the 2004 campaign. When the President pledges to create an “era of ownership,” he is not talking merely about encouraging people to buy their own homes and start small businesses. To conservative Republicans who understand his coded language, he is also talking about extending and expanding the tax cuts he introduced in his first term; he is talking about allowing wealthy Americans to shelter much of their income from the I.R.S.; about using the tax code to curtail the government’s role in health care and retirement saving; and, ultimately, about a vision that has entranced but eluded conservatives for decades: the abolition of the graduated income tax and its replacement with a levy that is simpler, flatter, and more favorable to rich people.

[[[BushWhackedUSA.com & BushWhackedUSA: THE BLOG]]]

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