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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Monday, June 06, 2011

McIlheran Watch: Vacation's over, time to start up the hypocrisy machine again

by folkbum

You know how it is: You come back from vacation, and the grass is up to here, weeds all over the place, papers piled up on the porch because you forgot to put it on hold. Patrick McIlheran, serial calumnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, finds a similar situation upon his return. See, the Republicans, the party for whom McIlheran usually shills, did something anathema over his vacation--they raised taxes!--and he needs to justify it, which he did both in print and on his blawg. (For a description of why the legislative action is a tax increase, read the news story.)

But it's okay, people, he tells us, that the GOP is cutting the Earned Income Tax Credit, a tax credit designed, as McIlheran freely admits, to encourage poor people to work more by offsetting their payroll or other taxes.

Why is it okay? Because of all the tax cuts in the budget. No, really, he says this. From the Sunday calumny column:
Walker and the Legislature, short of money, decided to cut by 15% one work-inducing incentive and to increase another they reckon will be more effective.
And what was that other tax cut work-inducing incentive? Elimination of taxes on certain capital gains for businesses. I'm actually quite surprised that McIlheran didn't go on about the other business tax breaks the GOP has included in its budget, like the one slipped in Friday night that gives businesses a dollar-for-dollar tax break ... just because. At least with the cut in reinvested capital gains, the GOP is pretending to pick breaks that sound reasonable to your average person. But so many of them are just give-aways to corporate donors.

This is your modern GOP in a nutshell: In a time of deficit, tax breaks for the poor are simply impossible to maintain. But tax breaks for business can continue, and we'll throw in new ones, too.

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