actual character of the Bush regime, how relentlessly its component
corporate parts pursue their ideological and practical agenda, is
revealed in the administration's intention to repeal a little known
and never financed family leave benefit.
Clinton administration issued a regulation allowing states to provide
unemployment benefits to workers who take time off to care for their
newborn children. However, only California actually offered the
benefit, and did not pay for the leave-time from unemployment insurance
trust funds. The rest of the states ignored family leave, while
the Clinton boom-bubble passed into history. In the current economic
straights, Bush's Labor Department says the government cannot afford
to pay for a benefit that nobody ever got.
Bush men are nothing if not thorough, leaving no benefit to working
people untouched, including non-existent ones.
rich strike back
insatiable rich, who will control both Houses of Congress in January,
have their servants in the Treasury Department cooking the national
statistics to prove that the poor aren't paying their fair share
of taxes. To pull off this mathematical magic, White House economic
advisor Lawrence Lindsey has declared that the Social Security Tax,
FICA, must - disappear! Not really disappear, of course; 12.4% will
still come out of every working person's paycheck. It just won't
be called a "tax."
Social Security contributions are made to vanish from the tax column,
rich people appear to be paying a larger share of taxes. This is,
of course, contrary to the American way (and could even present
a terrorist threat - write that down for the boss, Lindsey.) Once
FICA payments are erased from the vocabulary of taxation, additional
taxes can be levied on lower and middle-income people to take their
place, thus sparing the rich from participating in the finance of
costly projects like Bush's $200 billion Iraqi war and the new anti-missile
and his colleague R. Glenn Hubbard, chairman of the Council of Economic
Advisors, vetted the scheme with the people whom the rich pay to
mold public opinion: a gathering of the American Enterprise Institute.
Other rightwing think tanks were in attendance, assuring an acceptable
quorum for the workings of American democracy under Republican rule.
the mounting costs to the public treasury of providing the wealthy
with a standard of after-tax income to which they desire to become
accustomed, the rich can rest easy, Lindsey and Hubbard soothed.
The Treasury Department's experts are busy creating new mathematical
tables that will "make the poor appear to be paying less in
taxes and the rich to be paying more," wrote the December 16
all in how you frame the issue. According to the evolving White
House line, Social Security is not a tax, but a deposit on future
benefits, since contributors will get a return on their payments
in older age. Workers should consider FICA deductions as a kind
of Christmas club, said Lindsey with a straight face.
taxes on the stock dividends that allow rich people to sit on their
behinds while becoming even richer, that's double taxation,
Bush men have always maintained. (And a definite threat to national
security. Write that down for the boss, too, Lindsey.)
self-proclaimed born-agains in the Bush-Cheney Circle of Profitable
Prayer have elevated ascension to wealth and the perpetual retention
of riches to a religious conviction. They are Mullahs of Moola!
Thus, it would be in accordance with their theology to ban secular
tax terminology entirely. Call the Social Security deduction a tithe,
instead. The working poor can benefit, by and by, when they are
old and about to die.
we get a ching-a-ling and an amen to that?
have long lamented that too few African Americans belong to their
peculiar Church of Faith In Finance - a moral issue requiring the
laying on of federal contracts. Over the past few months, thousands
of Black clergy have been brought under the tents pitched by the
White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives. These Republican
revival meetings offer a lot more than prayer cloths to those who
are willing to sing in the President's choir. He has instructed
the deacons of five cabinet departments to lavishly dispense contracts
to the newly converted, whose happy feet will carry them to the
nearest local Black Republican clubhouse every Tuesday after the
secular terms, Bush is determined to create the material basis for
a Black class beholden to the Republican Party. Once this corrupt,
grasping crowd is on the contracting rolls, we will never be rid
of their corrosive influence. (See "Trent
Lott Furor Threatens Faith-based Bribery Scheme," in this
faith-based initiatives must be defeated in the coming Congress.
Failing that, the laws and regulations resulting from this unconstitutional
legislation must be challenged without pause, in all federal departments,
in every locality, contract by individual contract, through all
legal and political means, so that the massive Black bribery scheme
is made unworkable. Otherwise, we are lost, lost, lost.
momma in da hood
Lott is not just a bad seed - he comes from sorry stock. His mother
was a violence-prone racist, who appears to have committed the criminal
act of making a "terrorist threat" back when terror ruled
the family moved to Pascagoula, Mississippi, on the Gulf shore,
white shipyard workers like Lott's father wanted to keep all the
jobs for themselves. They carried out a
campaign of intimidation against Black job seekers and, when the
local Pascagoula Times spoke against the violence, they shot out
editor Ira Harkey's office windows.
December 15 New York Times reports:
Some time later, Mr. Harkey said, he received a letter from a
woman who told him that if he did not publish her letter it would
prove "you are truly an integrationist and I hope you not
only get a hole through your office door but through your stupid
head." It was signed Iona W. Lott - Mr. Lott's mother. "I
called her, asked if she'd sent it to me, and she said she certainly
had sent it to me and she meant every word," said Mr. Harkey,
was a momma's boy, for sure. The NYT recounts that he "was
especially close to his mother's brother, Arnie Watson, a schoolteacher
and onetime leader of the county chapter of the White Citizens Councils."
When the white collar Klan changed its name to the Council of Conservative
Citizens, Uncle Arnie became a board member. Arnie more recently
told the Washington Post that Blacks "should have been left
in their native country."
Lott told BET's Ed Gordon that part of his penance to African Americans
would be to push even more vigorously for passage of Bush's faith-based
initiatives. We can assume that Lott subscribes to the same religious
views as Uncle Arnie, who opined to the Post, "This mixing
races, the Lord didn't intend for it to be that way."
political genes will pollute Mississippi deep into the future. His
daughter, Tyler Lott Armstrong, joined old family acquaintance and
neo-Klansman Richard Barrett for a press conference, Friday the
13th, outside the site of Lott's hometown apology-to-Blacks-number-four.
father is a wonderful man, who has always stood tall," said
Ms. Lott Armstrong. "The news media has twisted his words.
He has good character, he's a Christian man and a good man and has
been a wonderful family man, with his children and all."
wonders if she has any siblings lurking in "the woodpile."
(See "Strom Thurmond's
Black Daughter," in this issue.)
York Times, December 15, "Lott's Life, Long Shadows of Segregation"