Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 9, 2005
By: Kevin Drum

THE YELLOW WOES OF TEXAS....If you want to understand the kind of vision the modern Republican party has for America, the place to go is Texas, home of George Bush, Karl Rove, Tom DeLay, and the true believers who wrote their state's party platform. It is there that you see modern Republicanism in its nakedest form, unfettered by the annoying need for pretense or "compassion" that's still required to win on the national stage.

So what's up in Texas right now? Answer: tax cuts, of course. But tax cuts for who? Charles Kuffner rounds up the headlines about the latest tax bill from the Texas Lege:

Chron: Tax bill called best for richest
Express-News: Tax bill has silver lining for richest
Statesman: Study finds poor Texans would bear brunt of tax changes
Star-Telegram: Study: House bill would raise most Texans' taxes
Morning News: Analysis: Tax bill would benefit richest

Is it just me, or is anyone else detecting a theme here?

Nope, I think we all get it. And lest you think this is just more liberal whining, here are the raw numbers from the Legislative Budget Board's analysis:

Texas families earning less than $100,000 a year would pay about $1.1 billion more a year in state taxes, while higher-income residents would see a tax cut of $437 million under a House bill designed to cut school property taxes, a report said Tuesday.

....Rep. Jim Keffer, R-Eastland, author of the tax bill, said he believes the tax impact analysis is accurate. "Facts are facts. I don't dispute the LBB numbers," Keffer said.

It's breathtaking, isn't it? This isn't merely a matter of everyone getting a tax cut but the rich getting a bigger one, this is literally a tax bill that openly cuts taxes on the rich and raises them on both the poor and the middle class in a state with a tax system that's already one of the lightest and least progressive in the country.

But the Republican sponsor of the bill is OK with that as long as taxes on corporations and the wealthy go down. This is "compassionate conservatism" without the mask. And it's the future of the Republican party.

Kevin Drum 6:37 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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