Friday, October 22, 2004
In an Administration that has been conservative in name only (excepting the intolerant social brand which Bush has embraced), yet another tax-cut/giveaway bill has been signed into law by Uncle Moneybags.
This one is a $136 billion tax-cut bill that is anything but. A true tax cut bill lowers rates, elinimates double-charges and the like without giving away money.
This bill does the following:
- $10.1 billion buyout of quotas held by tobacco farmers
- benefits for native Alaskan whalers, importers of Chinese ceiling fans and NASCAR race track owners
- $76.5 billion in tax relief for the manufacturing sector. Of course, manufacturing is defined so broadly that almost any business qualifies, including architectural firms. Even McDonalds is trying to qualify. So it's not tax relief as much as it is corporate welfare and a massive sham.
- And, of course, the much need tax break for bow and arrow hunters. Now we'll all eat well in the cold months ahead...
Why did all this largess pass? Because it was attached to a bill that had to pass. Bush had to repeal a $5 billion annual subsidy for U.S. exporters that the WTO found illegal. So he did, which is a good thing, b/c corporate welfare is a sham and a waste of our money. But instead of just doing that, he allowed all his cronies in Congress, and their cronies, to attach all this crap. They say they'll save the money through "closing corporate loopholes and tax shelters." But it looks like they created new ones. And the manufacturing giveaway will undoubtedly cost more as more and more companies define themselves as "manufacturers" under the ridiculous new guidelines.
So now it's law. And another $136 billion gets added to the deficit column. In the middle of a war. Hardly conservative, if you ask me.
Small wonder he signed it into law without a ceremony. I wouldn't want to brag about it, either.
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
That's where we stand, people. According to the good folks at Electoral-Vote.com, Kerry is widening his lead. The movers this time? Minnesota and Iowa moving into the Kerry column, Minnesota enough so to be a solid Kerry state. Kerry has also widened his lead in Michigan and Pennsylvania. And he holds Florida by the skin of his teeth, 50-49. Which bodes ill for post-election courtroom shenanigans.
In what must be disappointing for Bush, he holds North Carolina and Virginia by only three points, which lays within the margin of error. And in a shocker (to me), Kerry is within two point of Bush in Tennessee. Bush won there by four points over Gore in 2000 (the real reason Gore lost, BTW).
This points to a trend of undecided voters beginning to break for Kerry. Also, it may be showing the effect of voter registration drives across America, which at last count had hit over 8 million new voters. It could very well also point to some disaffected Republicans (or former Republicans), feeling comfortable enough with Kerry to throw their support to him.
Either way, the poll numbers are beginning to go against Bush. And with the bad news out of Iraq continuing and the economy standing still, there isn't anything he can latch onto to pull himself out of it.
Monday, October 18, 2004
Head on over to Electoral-Vote.com to see how close. In just a few days, the totals have shifted from Bush: 257 Kerry: 243 to Kerry: 257 Bush: 247. In other words, get ready for a nail-biter election and (sadly) the inevitable court challenges.
The key changes? Wisconsin going for Kerry in recent polls and Iowa is now up for grabs. Also surprising is Bush's weak support in Virginia. At 50-47, the race is a statistical dead heat. If Bush loses what should be a guaranteed southern state (Florida not included), it would put him in serious jeopardy.