Okay, the more I think about this, the more pissed off I get. Seriously, I can’t even attempt to be genteel about this–it’s an outrage. For anyone who doesn’t know this already, here’s what Bill Frist is up to these days:
Senate Finance Committee members were informed this morning that Sen. Bill Frist will move forward with a vote to permanently repeal the estate tax next week, likely on Tuesday, ThinkProgress has learned.
And, to me, the most outrageous part is that more people aren’t outraged. A national tragedy (in the form of Hurricane Katrina) has hit that even Bush has to admit is going to be more devastating than the September 11 attacks when all is said and done, and what is this doctor’s top priority? Pushing through a permanent tax cut that only benefits Americans who are in the top two percent in income. ASAP! I must admit that I haven’t watched hours of video of Bill Frist, so I can’t make a definitive diagnosis. But he must be some kind of nuts if he thinks–with all these bills coming in–that cutting an important source of revenue is a good idea right now.
Check out the Cost of War web site and see how fast that counter is moving. You can get a counter to put on your own web page–I’ve added one to the Shadow BFA Blog. It doesn’t move as smoothly as the one on the Cost of War site, but it still gets the point across. That’s only what we’re spending in Iraq. Current estimates suggest that Katrina could cost the economy $100B. Enough zeroes and my eyes just glaze over–I can’t wrap my mind around the meaning of numbers that big. But there’s more–education, healthcare, roads and public transportation, researching and implementing new sources of energy so that we don’t remain so dangerously dependent on foreign oil.
It’s maddening how hard it is to get this simple concept across–or to have it heard over the constant shouting of “Taxes bad!”–but STUFF COSTS MONEY. The more stuff we need, the more money we need to pay for it. Right now my husband is working on repairing our roof. On the way to the gym I saw an ad for a local roofing company on the back of a bus and thought “Man, that’d be sweet–being able to pay someone else to do that!” But, again, stuff costs money, and we’ve had to spend a lot of the green stuff lately–what with back to school supplies and clothes for the kids, and the recent vet bill was quite impressive, even though it was just for a “routine maintenance” visit.
So we cut costs where we can, and part of that is that my husband does a lot of our home and auto maintenance. We’re also working on figuring out how to bring in more income, because it is vitally important to keep X (money coming in) at a greater value than Y (money going out). Around here it might mean me teaching an additional evening class, or it might mean my husband picking up more graphics/animation work. Or I get a call to do a temp project. Sometimes, when things are getting pretty harried around here, we may be tempted to turn down a project, but we don’t even make that decision lightly, because it is vitally important to keep X greater than Y.
Just like we have to balance income and bills, so does our government. And, with the expenses I mentioned earlier, it seems nothing short of insane to say to the wealthiest two percent of Americans, “No thanks–you can keep your money!”