George's Taxtime Gotcha

Two things not long for this world are dogs that chase cars, and politicians who lie to the people.

George W. Bush's political life is about to take a hit, because millions of Americans are soon to sit down to fill out their income tax forms, and they will find a rude shock awaiting: George W. personally lied to them. The lie came early last year when George was strutting around like a banty rooster crowing about his massive tax cut bill. Yes, the richest americans -- especially the richest one-percent -- were going to pocket the bulk of his giveaway, but, By Gollies, he also was going to give a $300 tax rebate to every taxpayer, from Bill Gates to Joe Sixpack.

You might remember that George was so pleased with this political ploy that he almost had to put his arm in a sling from patting himself so hard on the back at press conferences held all across the country to announce the rebate. He and his congressional cohorts even ordered the IRS to send a letter to every taxpayer in advance of the payment notifying them that the president had done them a personal favor and would soon be sending them their $300. It was a political goldmine for Bush.

It also was a lie, as most taxpayers will learn when they come to line 47 on this year's tax forms. As I pointed out last year when Bush was running around gleefully handing out checks, his $300 giveaway was not really a "rebate," which would mean money returned to you from past taxes you've paid. Instead, they were advances on future tax cuts that you may or may not get. On April 15, you'll most likely still owe the $300 he awarded you last year. With one hand, Bush loudly doled out $300 to you, but with other hand, he's quietly taking it back from you this year.

Naturally, most people have already spent their $300 "rebate," not expecting that they'd owe $300 more in taxes this year than expected.

This is Jim Hightower saying ... It's George's little Gotcha.

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