GOP wrong to label tax cuts as "welfare"
Originally published by Mike gamecock DeVine as Legal Editor for The Minority Report
I have been bothered by this since McCain and other republicans characterized much of Obama's proposed "middle class tax cut" proposal as "welfare" for those that don't pay federal taxes.
Because most all of those that work do pay "payroll" or FICA taxes for social security and given that there long ago ceased to be any "lock box", with all tax receipts from federal income taxes and FICA going into the same pot to pay current federal obligations of all kinds, I don't think its fair to say that workers that receive wages and salaries from which FICA is deducted, "don't pay federal taxes."
Moreover, from a political PR standpoint, it certainly is not smart to tell working people of any income level, but especially those that work very hard for lower incomes, that they are welfare recipients simply because the federal dollars deducted from their paychecks is a rose by another name.
There are many reasons to oppose the stimulus bill, which I will address in a later column, but that IRS checks would be sent to workers that don't pay federal income taxes is not one of them, in my opinion.
Of course, I favor a supply side stimulus of extending the Bush income tax rate cuts; corporate tax cuts; capital gains tax cuts and middle class tax cuts.
But I also find a proposal by Lawrence Lindsey to cut the payroll tax quite attractive and will do a column on this over the weekend.
But in the meantime, I would urge that we not alienate lower income families by suggesting that if they are sent a $500-1000 check, they are welfare recipients.
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson