GOP tax rebate plan called costly, ineffective
For a nation “addicted to oil,” as President Bush put it, Senate Republicans have a proposal that can only be described as enabling: Put $100 back into the pocket of every taxpayer.
The proposal, unveiled Thursday, has been roundly criticized not only by Democrats but also by fiscal conservatives who warn it will widen the deficit while doing little to encourage energy conservation.
“It could be one of the dumbest ideas of the year,” said Jerry Taylor, a senior fellow at the conservative Cato Institute. “I haven’t looked at all of the ideas yet, but it’s got to be right up there.”
Taylor pointed out that as proposed, the rebate would go only to people who paid federal income tax last year, meaning it would be no help at all to the millions of low-income Americans who pay no income taxes but arguably suffer the most in times of rising fuel prices. About 100 million taxpayers would qualify for the rebate, which would be limited to filers with incomes under $150,000 for couples or about $100,000 for singles. It would cost more than $10 billion.
Not only that, but the same tax rebate would go to the Wall Street trader who takes the subway to work every day and to the rural Wisconsin farmer who uses thousands of gallons of fuel in his business, Taylor noted.
“It’s not really a compensation for higher gas prices,” Taylor said. “It’s simply a please-vote-for-me-in-November payment.”
Update: This really is one of the stupidest ideas the Rethuglicans have come up with, and they’ve come up with some real winners…
Sharp Reaction to G.O.P. Plan on Gas Rebate
WASHINGTON, April 30 â€” The Senate Republican plan to mail $100 checks to voters to ease the burden of high gasoline prices is eliciting more scorn than gratitude from the very people it was intended to help.
Aides for several Republican senators reported a surge of calls and e-mail messages from constituents ridiculing the rebate as a paltry and transparent effort to pander to voters before the midterm elections in November.
I hope they come up with a few more of these great ideas between now and November.