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Ponder us

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News Hits, in our frequent philosophical moments, often ponders what we think is one of the great existential questions of our time: Just how much of America is fucking brain dead?

We were forced to examine the query anew last week when the kind folks at one of our favorite lefty nonprofits — the Institute for Public Accuracy — sent along some informed comments reflecting on the George W. Bush-inspired tax cut of $1.35 trillion that ultimately cleared Congress.

You remember that plan, right? The one that Al Gore repeatedly criticized during the presidential campaign, saying the lion’s share of moola would go to the very wealthiest of Americans.

Shrub responded, in his lovable, folksy way that Gore was using “fuzzy math.” But when pressed, G.W. never denied the allegation.

With good reason. It was absolutely true. And yet, 50 million Americans still voted for Texas Slick, knowing full well that as soon as he hit the Oval Office he was going to tell most of us to bend over and take a royal hosing, sans the lubricating petroleum products the prez is otherwise so fond of.

Now, here we are, seven months later and, in the words of one poet, damned if that isn’t exactly what’s happened.

Contrary to Bush’s campaign posturing, Gore’s math was anything but fuzzy. According to a detailed computer analysis of the tax cut proposal performed by the group Citizens for Tax Justice, “… the top 1 percent of Americans — those making $373,000 or more — will get a tax cut averaging $44,292, the bottom 60 percent — those making less than $44,000 — will get an average of a $330 cut.”

Our schools are crumbling. The health care system is a mess. Seniors are worried about how they’ll pay for that next prescription they need to keep breathing. Working families across the country don’t know how they will pay for their kids’ day care, or their college education. And there’s still that mountainous national debt staring us in the face.

Yet, with all this — and much, much more — confronting us, here we are giving the wealthiest 1 percent a $580 billion tax cut over the next decade.

As Betsy Leondar-Wright of the group United for a Fair Economy pointed out: “How rapidly candidate Bush’s slogan ‘Leave no child behind’ morphed into President Bush’s efforts to leave no millionaire behind!”

News Hits just doesn’t get it. The majority of people in this country are struggling mightily to make it from week to week, so why do we let the few at the top of the wealth pyramid get away with this crap?

We’d like to rant more, but a rerun of one of our favorite “Survivor” episodes is about to come on the tube. And then there’s a celebrity version of “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?” that we just have to catch.

After all, everyone has to get their priorities straight.

Curt Guyette is Metro Times news editor. Contact him at 313-202-8004 or cguyette@metrotimes.com

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