Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Favoring the Rich, Even in Campaign Season!

Two House Republicans - Charles Grassley, Iowa and Bill Thomas, California - introduced a provision into legislation passed today that substantially reduces the tax burden on professional sports franchises. The complex provision (too complex for the ordinary voter to understand) will allow sports franchises to write off far more in taxes than they are allowed to today. The tax break is so lucrative that it will add about 5%, roughly $2 billion, to the total value of major sports franchises. The New York Yankees alone, worth $832 million, stand to profit $42 million from the new bill.

Hmm... I wonder if President Bush will sign the bill into law?

If comments he made on the campaign trail yesterday are any indication, the answer has to be yes. Responding to criticisms from John Kerry about his tax cuts for the wealthy, Bush quipped, "the really rich people figure out how to dodge taxes anyway."

(An independent study suggests that Bush is actually helping them dodge. Tax enforcement has fallen steadily under the Bush administration, "with fewer audits, fewer penalties, fewer prosecutions and virtually no effort to prosecute corporate tax crimes.")

At a time when we've already cut taxes on the wealthy, when we've backed off tax enforcement, when we've slashed funding for public housing, and when we're facing a record high budget deficit, can we really afford another corporate tax break? Apparently we can. Because that's where this administration's priorities are.

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