Here’s a useful tip for bloggers with writer’s block: just wander over to GOP.com and you’re almost sure to find something that will inspire a post. For example, just now I discovered this:
Under the President?s proposal to speed up tax relief, 92 million taxpayers would receive, on average, a tax cut of $1,083 in 2003.
* 46 million married couples would receive an average tax cut of $1,716.
* 34 million families with children would benefit from an average tax cut of $1,473.
* 6 million single women with children would receive an average tax cut of $541.
* 13 million elderly taxpayers would receive an average tax cut of $1,384.
* 23 million small business owners would receive tax cuts averaging $2,042.
Those numbers are probably technically true, yet based on them the casual reader might conclude that the savings under Bush’s latest tax cut proposal range from $541 to $2042. How many families will get less than $200? How many get more than $10,000? What are the median tax cuts?
Because the groups overlap, it’s difficult to infer how many people those numbers omit. Still, I can ballpark it. In 2002, there were 57.33 million married couples; the GOP decided to only tell us about the tax benefits that 80% of those families will recieve. For the 80% they do inlclude, the distribution of savings is not mentioned either — do two million families save $10,000, ten million save $5,000, and the remaining 34 million save only $265 each?
Also not mentioned: where will the money come from? Simple multiplication and addition shows that just the cuts for married couples, single women, and the elderly (three disjoint groups) add up to $100b. But what services will be cut? Mysteriously, that’s not included. Perhaps cutting the deficit in half no longer operative?