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Salazar's rhetoric taxes logic
Denver Post ^ | September 20, 2004 | David Harsanyi

Posted on 09/20/2004 9:45:59 AM PDT by aynrandy

Democratic senatorial candidate Ken Salazar would significantly boost his "moderate" credentials by easing up on the class warfare rhetoric and focusing on issues.

Sure, we all feel safer knowing that Salazar is fighting for Colorado's land, water and (last of all) people.

But the economy isn't as simplistic as a slogan, and calling on the rich to pay for it all is not a practical solution.

Cody Wertz, Salazar's press secretary, posits that Republicans and President Bush are the ones ruining the economy by "not being up front about the cost of Iraq" and by wanting "to cut taxes and still pay for it."

Bush has been up front about the cost of Iraq. He's said he will spend "whatever it takes." Our troops deserve that.

Wertz also says that "tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans should wait until we can afford them."

You can't blame Salazar for peddling the "rolling back tax cuts for wealthy Americans" line; it's the second item in his party's playbook after "government is on the way."

But last month's report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is an eye-opener and proves that the wealthy did not get the disproportionate tax cut Salazar would have you believe.

The CBO documents that the top 20 percent tier of taxpayers who would have paid 78.4 percent of the income tax burden now pay 82 percent - a larger portion of federal income taxes than they did under President Clinton.

The income taxes collected from the middle 20 percent, which was projected at 6.4 percent, is now at 5.4 percent. The Bush tax cuts have also removed more than 14 million poor taxpayers from the income tax rolls, entirely.

Conveniently, Democrats include all federal tax burdens, not just the income taxes that were affected by Bush tax cuts, when they refer to the report.

Ironically, those are taxes Democrats would probably never cut.

Salazar has also employed similar class rhetoric when blaming corporations for not doing their share.

Wertz says: "If you look at corporations, their taxes have gone down for the past two decades." Once I figured out that was supposed to be bad news, I jumped into action.

Turns out American companies pay one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world already, and the rate imposed is especially punitive, since they also have to pay taxes in other countries.

Anyway, Salazar should know corporations don't pay a penny in taxes.

You do.

Corporations make sure that cost is passed on to the consumer. So the more we punish them, the more jobs go overseas, the less innovation and expansion we see here, the more things cost and the less dynamic our economy will become overall.

And what about small businesses? Salazar has offered them some nice tax breaks. After all, small business is the number one source of the nearly 1.4 million new jobs created this year.

But if Salazar is bent on taxing the "wealthy" - folks Democrats say is anyone with taxable income over $200,000 a year - it won't make a difference.

In the most recent year for which IRS data is available, 2001, over half the taxpayers reporting more than $200,000 in taxable income had some stake in small businesses. So Salazar's breaks go poof.

Salazar's man, John Kerry, when he bothered to show up in the Senate, voted to raise taxes more than 40 times. In the 12 years since the National Taxpayers Union began grading Congress on tax-and-spend issues, the senator received an "F" eleven times.

How will the "Washingtonian fiscal hypocrisy" Salazar loves to talk about be helped by his presence? It's hard to tell.

Salazar is right on when he points to the out-of-control spending in Washington. But what programs would he cut? Well, that's still a mystery.

At any rate, the notion that sending another Democrat to the Senate will bring about more fiscal responsibility is hard to swallow.

David Harsanyi's column appears Monday and Thursday. He can be reached at 303-820-1255 or .

TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: johnkerry; liberals; petecoors; taxes

1 posted on 09/20/2004 9:45:59 AM PDT by aynrandy
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To: aynrandy

is Coors going to win or is this dink going to pull it off? anyone have a pulse as to what the landscape is down there?

2 posted on 09/20/2004 9:48:42 AM PDT by DM1
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To: aynrandy

Hatred of the good for being good - strikes again.

(nice handle aynrandy)

3 posted on 09/20/2004 9:50:23 AM PDT by HalleysFifth
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To: DM1

The post or the rocky mountain news led with salazar way ahead a couple of days ago.

Hopefully they are wishful thinking.

The guy is not just a sham, he's like Kerry in that he is an illusion.

4 posted on 09/20/2004 10:21:25 AM PDT by Pylot
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