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Four years might not be so bad

Paul Joice | Wednesday, November 10, 2004

In the famous, oft-quoted words of Benjamin Franklin, “In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.” Though it may be hard to realize from the post-election attitudes of many liberals, death is not quite upon us. And interestingly enough, President George W. Bush’s second administration might make a profound (and positive) result on our nation’s tax structure.

First of all, let me clarify – I’m about as liberal as they come on certain issues, and taxation is definitely one. I have little sympathy for the “over $200,000” bracket when they complain about bearing the brunt of our nation’s taxes. I wasn’t a fan of Dubya’s tax cut plan, and frankly, I’m not a fan of him – period. On election night, I tossed a drink in the face of one of my best friends because he started chanting “four more years” when Ohio was called for Bush. I got in a dozen arguments with other friends that were slightly less than cordial.

And yet, I expect something good to come of his second term. According to the Nov. 8 New York Times, the Bush administration is seriously considering a drastic overhaul of the federal tax code – and for the first time in two decades he has the “political capital” to do it. With Republicans in control of the House and Senate, he continues to have the party block that he had in his first presidency, and now he has the clear support of the American voters – as much as it pains me to see it. With this power, Bush hopes to take on two of the most vilified groups in American politics: the Internal Revenue Service and the “special interests.” Simplifying the tax code, and cutting out the loopholes that confuse everybody, is something we can all agree on but that politicians can never enact because of the entrenched special interests who profit by the complexities. If this generation has ever seen a president with the guts to take on the impossible because he believes it is the right thing to do, it’s Bush. Coincidentally, if this generation has ever seen a president who believes “the right thing to do” involves making things easier to understand, it’s Bush.

So if you’re stuck in a post-election depression, trying to figure out what’s wrong with our country, then take solace. As long as the president doesn’t reverse a century of American politics by abandoning the progressive tax structure, this could be a great event for the American people. So you see liberals, it’s not the end of the world. Not yet at least … that will come when Bush pisses off nuclear-equipped North Korea.

Paul Joice



Nov. 9