Sunday, October 23, 2005

I [Heart] Deborah Solomon

by Tom Bozzo

Former Sen. Connie Mack, Republican of Florida, is chairman of the Bushist tax reform commission. He is the subject of the 'Questions' feature in today's New York Times Magazine, with Deborah Solomon administering the third degree.

Things are going badly for you when you are so full of sh*t your eyeballs are brown, and the MSM calls you on it. Repeatedly. Good work, Ms. Solomon! My favorite exchange:
Ms. Solomon. Indeed, he is still calling for tax cuts. He would like to eliminate the estate tax permanently.

Mr. Mack. I think there is a likelihood that Congress will deal with that issue before this term comes to an end. I would vote to eliminate, as we refer to it, the death tax. I think it's an unfair tax. [Standard talking point --Ed.]

Q. Really? I think it's a perfect tax. The idea behind it was to allow people to postpone paying taxes until they die, at which point they presumably no longer care. Why do you call it unfair?

A. Well, let's say, if you are in the farming business and you have the desire to pass this farm on to your children. The problem is that when your parents die, you have to come up with cash to pay the estate tax. One thing you don't have is cash. You've got plenty of land. So I just don't believe it's a fair tax.

Q. That strikes me as a red herring. The issue is not really small farms, but zillion-dollar estates made up of stocks and bonds. [Completely correct --Ed.]

A. I don't know what the percentage breakdown is. I still go back to the same notion that these individuals who have accumulated these resources have paid taxes on them many times in their life, and then to say, when you die, now you pay more taxes on it? There is a limit.

Q. Well, the U.S. government has to get money from somewhere. As a two-term former Republican senator from Florida, where do you suggest we get money from?

A. What money?

Q. The money to run this country.

A. [Oh, that --Ed.] We'll borrow it.
The myth of Republican fiscal rectitude should be so dead it was never born.
Has John said yet, when he asks for something and is told it is too expensive, "Daddy, just use a credit card..."
Not yet... but he's still quite young. About the entirety of his understanding of money is that he is aware that it is necessary to pay for things before leaving stores.

Otherwise, given his sister's rapid ascension to toddlerhood and the need to keep the peace, he may end up learning about which things are public goods, and which are not, first.
That is the most awesome Q and A I've ever seen. The dude should go back to being the namesake of the baseball manager who always wore a business suit in the dugout.

As you probably know, the Republicans discovered the power of "Tax Cut Stories" when they pushed through Proposition 13 in California back in 1978. Instead of "family farms" it was elderly people who bought there homes cheaply many years ago and couldn't afford the property taxes on the exploded assessments.
I can't take Deborah Solomon after the hatchet job she did on Poet Laureate Ted Kooser.

"Surely you've heard of Milocz?"

Bite me.
Oh hell. That loud bang you heard was my head exploding. I've been arguing with creationists, you've been dealing with the tax cuts- personally, in terms of sheer unavoidable irrationality, I think I'm getting the better end of the deal.

Bryan: This is a side of you that I haven't seen. Have you heard of Pykwxcgz (*)?

Oscar: The selling of Prop 13 is a model of truth-telling compared to the 'death tax' marketing.

Drek: It's a close call. I still hope you complete the Turner Tuesdays with your sanity intact.

(*) Those are the word verification characters for this comment.
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