Feedback: This welfare's for the rich
July 3, 2008 · Updated 9:49 PM
A.T. Hyde (Letters, June 4) is mistaken in saying "the Congress passed and the president signed a TAX CUT bill not a WELFARE bill."
While House and Senate negotiators were removing the $400-per-child refund for families making between $10,000 and $26,625, they also removed provisions in the Senate bill that would have saved billions of dollars by closing abusive corporate tax shelters.
One such shelter permits U.S. companies to avoid paying U.S. income taxes on their profits by moving their headquarters to post office boxes in offshore tax havens such as Bermuda. This is a flagrant tax scam that Democrats have been trying to get rid of since Republicans put it in place some years ago.
Mr. or Ms. Hyde is again mistaken in saying that working families making $10,000 to $26,625 pay "little or no income tax." All wage-earners pay taxes on their incomes in the form of Social Security and Medicare taxes. Since 1975, under the earned-income tax credit, the working poor have received refunds to offset those taxes. As late as 2001, Republicans agreed to give child-credit refunds to the very people they are now bold enough to cheat, and dishonest enough to say should not get the refund because they don't pay income taxes.
The cost of sending $400-per-child checks to the poor families who won't get them would have been $3.5 billion. The abusive corporate tax shelters Republicans refused to remove will cost the government about $25 billion. In case A.T. Hyde does not see this as welfare for the rich, maybe someone will draw him or her a picture.