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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Spinning on a Dime

“Q: NAACP -- the President has been President for five years now, and he told them that he regretted the fact that many African Americans distrust the Republican Party. What has he done for five years to change that?
Tony Snow: Well, for one thing, the President has done consistent outreach with African Americans. Look, this is a President, you take a look at his political career, what has George W. Bush done, he's tried to do outreach. He understands that there was a history in which the Republican Party was seen as the active enemy of black voters in this country. It's one of the reasons why you have such lopsided Democratic majorities.
[H]e put together an economic program that's designed to create jobs for Americans. You also aim tax breaks at those in the lower income levels...
Q: You just said that the majority of the President's tax cuts have actually been geared towards lowering --
Tony Snow: The President's tax cuts, if you take a look at what the President has been doing -- and this has been going on for a while here -- is shifting the tax burden. And, as a matter of fact, if you take a look at it, again, the upper brackets are carrying more of the burden and he's been reducing taxes. And you take it as a proportion of overall income, it is larger at the lower ends of the income scale.”
-Press Gaggle with White House Spokesman Tony Snow, July 20, 2006

“Ok... One quick one here. Tony Snow is accurate in that the upper income brackets are paying more of the overall tax burden than they used to. The rest of the statement is, well, a snow job. The reason that the wealthy are paying proportionally more is not because Dubya is cutting taxes for the poor in order to help them out. It is because the wealthiest people are, thanks to our economy, making a LOT more than they used to, so they actually just have a lot more income to be taxed. The percentage of their income that they are paying is not going up, it is the overall income that they are paying a percentage of that is rising.”

“Inequality has always been part of the American economy, but the gap between the rich and the poor has recently been widening at an alarming rate. Today, more than 40 percent of total income is going to the wealthiest 10 percent, their biggest share of the nation's pie in at least 65 years.”
-New York Times, June 25, 2006

“See? Tony has to know this. After all, this just came up the very same day in the most recent discussions with the Chairman of the Federal Reserve.”

“During the hearing, Democratic Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts protested that an ‘evolution of diminishing expectations’ was setting in as rising living costs ate into real wages.
‘Not only have wages lagged inflation, they've lagged productivity,’ Frank said, referring to strong growth in average hourly output per worker, which is generally considered to add to wealth without generating inflation.
Bernanke said average hourly earnings for factory workers, measured by payroll surveys, have not gained in real terms.
‘One of the key problems is the increase in energy prices so that what people get in the pay stub they lose at the gas pump,’ he said.”
-Washington Post, July 20, 2006

“And it isn’t like this wasn’t on the radar before that…”

“The average worker hasn't seen a meaningful pay increase in three years, despite the economy's rebound, according to U.S. Labor Department data.
Declines in real pay have moderated in recent months as the job market has tightened. Even so, the average worker's hourly pay in May was $16.62, down 1.7 percent from the inflation-adjusted rate of $16.90 per hour in June 2003, bureau data show.”
-Baltimore Sun, July 18, 2006

“The federal minimum wage of $5.15 an hour hasn't been raised since 1997; the latest effort to increase it was defeated in the Senate last month.”
-Associated Press, July 17, 2006

“$5.15 an hour is under $11,000 a year if you were working the job 40 hours a week with no time off for sickness or vacation. At the same time government programs for healthcare and education meant to help the poor are being cut right and left to fund our military excursions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tell me again how Dubya is helping the poor.”


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