Thursday, February 15, 2007

Talk about tone deaf

So, I went onto Representative Garrett's page to see if he had posted his comments yet, but he hasn't. Instead, I found his press release about his intentions for the day. Either they didn't completely think the wording of this release through, or this is how utterly out of touch he is with the priorities of military families and the very nature of this conflict. You can read the entire release here.

Congressman Garrett will introduce two bills that will provide real support for our troops serving in combat zones and their families. The Armed Forces Tax Relief Act of 2007 and the Strengthening America’s Military Families Act of 2007 will help relieve the financial burden of deployment by exempting troops in active combat zones from federal payroll taxes and allowing spouses of troops serving in active combat zones to claim the same tax exemptions as their deployed spouses.

It is actually a good idea (along with a significant pay increase for the military), which could help families on the home front. However, using an analogy from one of the Republicans opposed to the resolution on Iraq, if Davey Crockett was sitting at the Alamo and he got an e-mail on his Blackberry saying "Guess what, you're getting a tax cut. Keep up the great work", I can't believe he'd be all that impressed.

Garrett has a history of being tone deaf to actual concerns, after all he was the primary sponsor of a bill to apply the child tax credit to stillborn and miscarried babies. A tax cut is nice, but it doesn't do anything to help the situation faced by our men and women over in Iraq. When the stuff is hitting the fan I doubt our men and women are really all that worried about filling out their 1040s. Body armor, armored Humvees, and working equipment rank higher on the list of things they could use. Yes, the tax cut is a good idea but "real support" it is not.


Jill said...

If Garrett really wanted to do something for military families, he would exempt them from INCOME taxes,rather than PAYROLL taxes. Exempting them from Payroll (i.e. FICA) taxes simply lowers their lifetime income that is used to calculate their future Social Security benefits. So this way they get a surprise way down the road, presumably after Garrett is dead and gone -- or the survivor benefits that their survivors get after these soldiers are killed in this pointless war.

Garrett's sponsorship of a bill to apply the child tax credit to stillborn and miscarried babies is utterly terrifying. It's the first step towards declaring fertilized eggs as full-fledged people.

For years I've been saying that the logical extension of this is for women to be prosecuted for having periods instead of pregnancies, lest a fertilized egg be passed. That notion used to be crazy, but it isn't any more.

rmfretz said...

My understanding is that the soldier in a war zone is already except from income tax, I'll double check that. Without reading the bill (it's not printed yet) I'm not sure how it impacts the lifetime earnings or survivor benefits. My "assumption" was that it would be a win/win for the soldiers, however with a Garrett bill I should know better than to assume. Without some kind of protection it would be a devastating slap in the face to our men and women overseas.

Anonymous said...

I came across this post doing research regarding legal status of stillborn babies. I think you completely miss-understand intentions of the bill that is being supported. In other words you are "Ingnorant". It is not an attempt to legalize abortions but rather provide validation and support for greeving parents who lost a child. Having gone through it myself I fully understand the loss. Before you site examples please do your own research. I fully support your efforts to help our millitary people but not you tactics in this case.

rmfretz said...

I appreciate your taking the time to write, and am sorry for your loss. I've known several folks who have gone through this as well, and it is truly a tragedy for the family. I read the bill, and never thought it was intended to legalize abortion. Garrett would never put such a bill forward.

The parallel I was trying to make is that with the pain that comes with a miscarriage, a pat on the back from the government saying "it's ok, here's a tax credit" doesn't seem to be enough, like the tax cut for the soldiers in the field.