Post-Katrina: Congress' Priorities
Congress is back in session, and what are their priorities? Yup, you guessed it.
Before the New Orleans disaster, repealing the Estate Tax was at the top of Congress’ agenda. Now they’ve grudgingly postponed this urgent priority, what with all those drowning poor people and all. But make no mistake — it’s crucial that when a multi-millionaire dies, that person’s heirs will not have to pay any tax on their inheritance.
Another Earth-shaking matter that needs to be taken care of yesterday — damn that Katrina anyway — is eliminating the Endangered Species Act. The Far Right isn't about to let their agenda get derailed by a flood and a few whiny tree huggers.
Bush's sacred tax cuts might even be endangered by the cost of relief efforts in the Gulf of Mexico. The total federal cost could reach $100 billion. The current cost is about $700 million a day.
This could be the most expensive natural disaster in our history. Priorities have to be set. Difficult decisions need to be made. Will we keep sending National Guardsmen to Iraq when we need them here? Can we keep spending billions in the Middle East while our own country starts looking more and more like a third world country?
Repealing the Estate Tax will cost the treasury $70 billion a year. The proper coddling and pampering of Paris Hilton — and thousands of others in her position — is a top priority of course. But how urgent is it, compared to saving lives, preventing future disasters, and reducing our record deficit?
Hillary Clinton said “I don’t believe we are putting the American people first in this country. I don’t know that we can do that unless we have a more sensible policy that looks at the tax cuts for wealthy people that the administration seems determined to enshrine in permanency and the additional tax cuts and spending cuts the administration wants. We have to look at all of our spending.”
With Bush’s disgraceful performance this past week, he may have already spent all of his “political capital.” He might even be deep in debt by now.