Vol. 1, Issue 22, October 14, 2003
Bush Announces Iraqi Tax Cut Plan
The White House unveiled its new economic stimulus package for the reconstruction of Iraq today, in response to increasing criticism from the Democrats.
"Our work in Iraq is going better than you might think," President Bush said in a press conference on Sunday. "We're rebuilding schools, re-opening hospitals, thousands of children are now being immunized, water and electricity are being returned to the Iraqi people, life is getting better. It's a lot better than you probably think, just ask people who've been there. And just wait until the Iraqi people find out about this tax cut I'm proposing."
The plan calls for $54 billion in tax cuts to the top thirty percent of wage earners in Iraq.
"I am confident that this will really jump-start the Iraqi economy, and is a strong step towards getting Iraq ready for true independence," Bush added.
Some analysts have questioned the premise behind the tax cut, however.
"In the first place, there simply is not the infrastructure in place to collect taxes, let alone calculate a tax cut," said Brookings Institute economist Thurmond Sharpe. "One must first be collecting taxes before one can modify the rate at which they are collected. In the second place, Iraq doesn't even have a stable currency anymore - they are using U.S. currency, for crying out loud."
Bush was undeterred by such comments.
"Well, the fact that they're still using U.S. dollars will just make it that much easier to calculate the tax cut," said Bush.
Democrats have also expressed skepticism of the proposal.
"This year the federal government will run the largest deficit in history, over $400 billion," said Representative John Spratt of South Carolina, ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee. "It doesn't take a math genius to realize that $54 billion less in Iraqi tax receipts will mean $54 billion more in American taxpayer dollars going to support Iraq. That doesn't seem like a good plan to me."
House Majority Leader Tom Delay, R-Texas, was quick to dispute Spratt's analysis, adding that Spratt owed the president and the country an apology.
"Just you wait until the great engine of democracy comes crashing on out of Iraq," said Bush. "It'll pay for itself."