Tags: Bush's | Victims | Tax-Relief | Bill

Bush's Victims Tax-Relief Bill

Friday, 25 January 2002 12:00 AM

He signed this yesterday. The bill gives various types of tax relief to the families of victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. No federal income tax on the 2001 salaries earned by the victims. No estate taxes.

Hey … what happened to "equal protection under the law"? If your husband is killed in a car wreck in 2001, is your loss any less than someone who lost a loved one at the Pentagon or the World Trade Towers? Why should you be subject to estate taxes, and they are not?

Sorry. Bad law. Bad precedent. Expect trouble from this one in the future.

Vegas is suffering. Vegas has been suffering since the terrorist attacks. The Mike Tyson-Lennox Lewis fight is worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Las Vegas. Two things stand in the way. First, will the Nevada boxing commissioners grant Tyson a license to fight after that debacle in New York earlier this week? Second, Las Vegas police have asked prosecutors to charge Tyson with yet another rape.

Which is going to speak louder here … money or decency?

Right now we have a collection of politicians – it IS an election year, after all – trying to come up with some nifty new legislation that will protect people from future Enron disasters. Plans are afoot for all types of new laws to "protect" your pension plans from greedy corporate robber barons.

This brings to mind a little revenue-raising plan that bounced around the hallways of the Clinton administration for some time. Clinton economic advisers looked with hungry eyes on the $3 trillion – that's with a T – dollars that rested in the nation's 401(k) and pension plans. They wanted some of that money for government vote-buying plans.

The plan – never really pursued – was to levy a "one time" 15 percent tax on the outstanding value of all of these pension plans. The argument was that these plans were owned by people who got rich off the Reagan tax cuts and that some of this ill-found wealth needed to be redistributed to those who were "left behind" by the '80s economic boom.

You do know you only hear of these plans on talk radio, don't you?

It's sad, really sad. A great kid, a 15-year-old, died after being thrown out of the back of a pickup truck at Cherokee High School near Atlanta yesterday.

He and a group of students were moving lockers. A 17-year-old was driving the pickup. Speed bumps threw the victim and some of the lockers out of the back.

Now – and this needs to be said – you have to hit a speed bump at a pretty good rate to throw stuff out of the back of a pickup truck. You get the strong suspicion in the back of your mind that the teen-aged driver was screwing around just a bit.

Here's why I'm bringing this up. As soon as the accident happened, the school brought in the grief counselors. Ten of them. They scattered around the hallways and classrooms looking for distressed students to counsel.

Loss is part of living. We're all going to experience the sudden loss of loved ones and friends – and part of growing up is learning how to deal with this loss.

What are these kids being taught in our schools? They're being taught that they need the government – they need government grief counselors – to deal with sudden and tragic loss.

"Yes, we're your friendly, always-present government, ready to step in when the going gets rough. Someone you know dies? Hey, we're here! We'll help you get through. After all, that's what your government is for, isn't it? To straighten out the road, smooth out the bumps and keep the sun shining in your life every day."

I know this sounds insensitive. So be it. Life is insensitive. So is death. By the time these kids get to high school they need to know how to cope with disappointment and tragedy. Rushing a posse of government grief counselors into the school is no way to teach these kids how to cope.

There's a completely useless story appearing in the sports section of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution this morning. The sole purpose of the story is to point out that female coaches at Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia make less money than do the male coaches. So? And the point is …?

A quick search of the list of coaches and salaries shows that the big bucks are going to the football coaches and the men's and women's basketball coaches. The smaller paychecks are going to swimming coaches. Most, not all, of the highest-paid coaches are men.

Well – guess what? Which sports do you think bring more revenue into the Tech and Georgia athletic departments? Where do you think most of the cash for athletic scholarships come from? Where do the funds for other campus intramural athletic programs come from? Hint: It isn't swimming.

So – what's happening here? These coaches are being paid on the basis of what they produce! Their paychecks reflect the amount of money and publicity they generate for their employers – Tech and UGA.

That's the problem, folks. In today's politically correct, diverse, multicultural society, a good anti-individualist simply cannot stand by and allow some person to be paid on the basis of individual merit, productivity and accomplishment.

As our old pal Nikita Khrushchev said, "Comrades! We must abolish the cult of the individual decisively, once and for all."

Writing feature articles pointing out discrepancies in pay based on group identity (gender) rather than individual value is just a step in the process.

Kenneth Lay has left Enron. Probably carrying a bunch of money with him. I'm with those who think he should be left as poor as those who invested their life savings in his stock.

I'll pay extra bucks for a special Georgia license plate featuring dogs and cats if I can have a papillon on mine.

George W. Bush will be delivering his first State of the Union address next week. I guess Bill Nigut had better get his videotape editor warmed up.

If black so-called leaders like Jesse Jackson had spent as much time and energy over the last 10 years trying to combat the anti-achievement mentality that exists among young black students as they have dedicated to promoting hyphenated Americanism … much more would have been accomplished.

The Daily Mirror of London was one of the British papers that wrote scathing denouncements of the U.S. treatment of the al-Qaeda prisoners at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. After being blasted back by American popular opinion, and to some extent Donald Rumsfeld, the Mirror decided to poll the Brits on their thoughts.

The question: "Do you condemn the U.S. treatment of al-Qaeda prisoners at Guantanamo Bay?"

The response?

Whoa! That's a 10-to-1 difference. Maybe the Mirror needs to do a little more demographic investigation of its readers.

The Jerusalem Post did an online poll yesterday (granted, it's unscientific). The question was "When he was president, was Bill Clinton a better friend to Israel than George W. Bush is today?" At the time of these notes, the results were:

Yes: 18%

Prediction: Look to see more of James Carville all over the Israeli TV trying to salvage the Clinton "legacy."

Officials in Kandahar are saying they are concerned that neighboring Iranians are sneaking into parts of Afghanistan bringing cash, goods and weapons to ex-Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters and disgruntled warlords, in an attempt to plant the seeds of unrest against the new and still-fragile Afghan government.

It seems Iran is not too comfortable with the idea of an Islamic neighbor that practices freedom for its people ... not to mention the presence of so many Western influences. After all, Iran's leaders know that freedom is contagious. Democrats know that, too, and it frightens them.

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He signed this yesterday.The bill gives various types of tax relief to the families of victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.No federal income tax on the 2001 salaries earned by the victims.No estate taxes. Hey … what happened to equal protection under the law ?If your...
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Friday, 25 January 2002 12:00 AM
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