Maybe the ABC show should change its name to 'Demagogue Morning America'. Earlier this week, Charlie Gibson trotted out windfall-profit taxes and limits on executive compensation as 'solutions' to high gas prices.
This morning, Kate Snow took the demagoguery up-close-and-personal, flashing a $20 bill in the faces of modest-income Americans to elict predictable responses about the tax cut they would be receiving under a Republican-backed plan.
Snow set the tone by announcing that the proposed extension of the tax cuts "would cost the federal government $70 billion." Of course tax cuts don't cost the government anything . . . since it's not the government's money. But that's not the way the MSM or liberals in Congress see it. Everything really does belong to the government, so that when it extends a tax cut, it is "spending" money.
In any case, the current tax proposal would extend a number of tax reductions, including the 15% tax on capital gains and dividends, and provisions helping people avoid the Alternative Minimum Tax.
Relying on data from what, to GMA's credit, was acknowledged to be the "left-leaning" Tax Policy Center, Snow stated that the top 1/10th of 1% got an average tax break of $82,000, while "middle-income" families would get $20.
That's when Snow went into Demagogue-Con 1. She literally trailed a twenty through a New Jersey shopping mall, waving it in the face of a number of people, informing them that this is what they'd get in a tax cut, and obtaining the predictable responses.
Snow: "If I told you that this would be your tax cut, don't spend it all in one place . . "
Woman: "They could keep it."
Snow to another person: "Could you do anything with this?"
Person: "I can't even fill my tank up with gas!" [Nice two-fer for ABC, getting in a free shot at high gas prices.]
Snow to a third person: "I wanted to give you a check for $82,000, but only if you make $1.8 million a year."
Person [indicating his modest clothing outfit]: "You see what I got on?"
Of course what ABC didn't tell us is that tax cuts would be modest for lower-income Americans because under measures adopted early in the Bush administration, most of them already pay little or no federal income taxes. A family of four with income in the $30-40 thousand range pays virtually no federal income taxes, for example.
Snow also failed to mention that another tax bill that will soon be coming forward will directly benefit the middle class by preserving tax deductions for state and local sales taxes, a tuition tax deduction and a tax break for teachers who buy their own supplies.
Instead, Snow and GMA resorted to the worst kind of demagoguery in aid of Democrat proposals to kill the tax cut extension, thereby effectively raising taxes on the most productive members of society. How that would spur the economy and create more jobs ABC didn't tell us.
Finkelstein, recently a guest on the Lars Larson show, lives in the liberal haven of Ithaca, NY, where he hosts the award-winning public-access TV show 'Right Angle'. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org