Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Class Warfare Kirsten

I waited up last night to see what reaction Congresswoman Gillibrand would offer after the State of the Union address, and I was not disappointed. Desperation is a stinky cologne, and late last night, Kirsten Gillibrand poured on the entire bottle.
While Bush's speech did address tax cuts, Gillibrand said she was concerned that the President's focus was on keeping cuts aimed at wealthy citizens. "There should have been a much greater emphasis on middle-class tax cuts. The vast majority of his tax cuts do not affect the middle class," Gillibrand said. [POST STAR]
For starters, this signals that Gillibrand is now, officially, in class warfare mode. Since Gillibrand won't be fortunate enough to have an opponent who she can paint as a corrupt wife-beater, she has to generate villians somewhere else, and those wicked wealthy folks in higher tax brackets than the electorate are awfully tempting targets. This is surprising, though, considering the old proverb which warns you not to throw stones when you live in a $2 million house.

But the most important part of her statement, the idea that the tax cuts don't help middle class families and that they're "aimed" at a particular group, is a fair indicator that any future discussion of the tax code by Gillibrand is going to be a real side show. Remember, she got off the hook in 2006 without having to debate. This fall, she'll have to stand on stage and defend things like her assertion that the "vast majority" of the tax cuts won't affect the middle class, which is simply false. The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts reduced the rates for everyone who pays income taxes, saving the average household in New York State thousands of dollars each year. In fact, the "vast majority" of the people who received tax relief were middle-class. If Gillibrand is instead alluding to the cuts in capital gains taxes, it would mean she's ignoring were how helpful these cuts were to the working folks who sold investments to pay for college educations or retirements.

It's surprising to see even Gillibrand trying to twist and manufacture facts in such a manner to promote such divisiveness, but like I said, desperation is a stinky cologne.