Jeb
Published on January 20, 2005

Leave it to every other media outlet in the world today to be focused on George – I would like to draw your attention to Jeb

Leave it to every other media outlet in the world to be focused on George today – I would like to draw your attention to Jeb.

 

But first . . .

 

RENMINBI

Surya: “You suggested everbank CDs.  Which foreign currency is a safe CD?”

 

F I don’t know, but I see they offer a Chinese renminbi account.  I don’t think there is a person on earth (although if there is, he will somehow find this column and write in to tell me I am wrong) who thinks the renminbi is overvalued and could fall relative to the dollar.  Please do your own research on both Everbank and whatever currency you select.  But I think I’m going to go get me some renminbi. 

 

STICKY SPACE BAR

Chip Ellis: “Did you know that the keyboards on most laptops pop out and that the replacement keyboards are pretty cheap?  I didn't know it until my spacebar stopped working and an IT person came and replaced it in a couple of minutes.”

 

F Yes, it took me less than half an hour on-line to find out that I need either IBM part number 08K4699 or part number 08K4670 (impossible to know which) and that both have been discontinued.  Except that, of course, I’m not sure any of that is right.  For now, I am pressing hard on the Space Bar – especially the left side of it.  And I find that after I get going for a while, it begins to workbetter.

 

HALF OF YOU WILL LAUGH

Mark Willcox:  “Funniest headline ever: Poll: Nation Split On Bush As Uniter Or Divider.”

 

#

 

And now . . .

 

JEB

As reported here in years past, when Jeb first became governor of Florida he faced a challenge.  How do you cut taxes for the rich in a state with no income tax?  Cutting the sales tax wouldn’t work – that would help everybody.  Cutting the property tax wouldn’t work – that would help almost everybody. 

 

What to do?  What to do?  (What would Jesus do?) 

 

Jeb hit on cutting the Intangible Property Tax that most Floridians have never even heard of (because it applies only to folks with considerable portfolios of stocks and bonds). He cut this tax in half.   

 

Specifically, he cut it from a very modest two-tenths of one-percent (applicable to only some assets – not to retirement accounts, for example) to just one-tenth of one percent.  Great for the wealthy; but when was the last time you saw a middle-class tax halved?

 

And sure enough, less than a year later Jeb was also eliminating 51 of the state’s 55 prison drug treatment programs (to take just one example) because, well, there wasn’t enough money to pay for them.  

 

Adding insult to injury, in his bid for reelection, he claimed to have increased drug treatment funds by 60%.  (You can read how he did it here.)

 

Anyway, that’s ancient history. 

 

Two days ago, the Miami Herald ran this headline:

 

Governor: Cut taxes, medical help

The Guv has proposed “substantial tax cuts while eliminating programs intended to help working Floridians with massive medical bills stay out of poverty,” according to the Herald.

 

Specifically, he would cut the Intangible Property Tax in half – again.

 

(He would also eliminate a tax on beer and wine sold at bars and restaurants, presumably to make it easier for people to drink more before setting off for the drive back home.)

 

“The tax cuts,” reports the Herald, “balanced with tuition hikes and elimination of safety-net programs, drew sharp criticism from Democratic legislators.”

 

It is a grand time to be rich and powerful in America – all the more so in sunny Florida.

 

Have you Bush supporters no shame?



© 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 Andrew Tobias