During a stop in Canton, Ohio, on Saturday, one of the swing states hit hardest by the sour economy, President Bush tried to cast doubt on Kerry's plan to roll back the tax cuts for Americans earning over $200,000 to invest in health care, education, and job creation:
"He said he's only going to raise taxes on the so-called rich. But you know how the rich is -- they got accountants. That means you pay."
I know the moral of that story is the Republicans' favorite scare tactic -- them Dems gonna raise your taxes -- but let's stop for a moment and consider how he tells it: The president, 3.5 years into his term, declares that rich people are effectively untaxable because they can afford accountants who find loopholes.
How can that argument possibly reflect well on Bush? He's calling rich people tax cheats, telling the rest of us that he's resigned to a system where they evade taxes, and admitting by implication that he did nothing with the Republican Congress to change it.
I was wondering if anyone else caught this unbelievable slap in the face to the American Middle Class.
My take on it is that he is saying to us that we can't afford accountants that know how to fudge the numbers.
This is exactly how we got Enron, because of these same accountants and the inability of the Republicans to stop them.
The other thing that amazes me is how someone that has no grasp of the English language was elected president.
Where I was taught, it should be, "you know how the rich ARE","they HAVE accountants."
Finding a loophole is not cheating. The fact is that Bush is right -- increasing taxes on the wealthy has diminishing returns because the wealthy can afford to take advantage of ever-complex tax schemes created by the unfathomable thousands of pages of IRS rules. A more transparent system with lower tax rates would be much more effective and fair.
Now if Bush (and Kerry) would only recognize the same compliance problems in the war on drugs.
Of course Bush is right about tax inequities. But he's not saying that to sell people on an overhaul of the tax code. He's accepting the status quo, as if he's in no position to do anything about it. I'm not sure I've ever seen a less persuasive argument regarding taxes.