04 Jan 2002 HAPPY NEW YEAR?
Posted at 16:32h in The Friday BriefIt’s 18 degrees outside with more than a foot of snow on the ground, but news of Washington politics, worse than usual, still manages to make my blood boil. I know it’s 2002 and control of the Senate and House are up for grabs by Republicans or Democrats. But, I still manage to allow my optimistic nature the latitude to expect that, occasionally and for longer than a few days, congressmen and women could place concerns of our economy and our national well being above political point making. Tom Daschle, Senate Majority Leader, in a noon speech today, will call for a tax credit for companies that create jobs as part of an economic policy highlighting the differences between President George W. Bush and Democrats. The “job creation tax credit” would be packaged with depreciation bonuses for capital investments and tax benefits for business losses in previous years under the plan. These measures are essentially Trojan horse with tax increases lurking inside. In his speech, Daschle, will attack Bush's $1.35 trillion, 10-year tax cut enacted last year and call for budget discipline. He'll argue that a return to government surpluses will help keep interest rates low and that this is the best way to spur growth. “The most important thing we should do is restore long-term fiscal integrity to our budget so we can bring long-term interest rates down,” Daschle will say, “the tax cut has taken away our flexibility and left us with only two choices, both of them bad.” Those choices include shortchanging needs such as homeland security or raiding the Social Security surplus, he says.