Thursday, March 29, 2007

Good Votes, But We need a Source

So far, it's been a pretty good week for the Fifth. Representative Scott Garrett has voted pretty much the way I think most of the people in our District would have, with the exception of a vote against outlawing blades used to make cockfights more gruesome. Other than that, we've seen him vote for environmental protection, money for transit security (as a daily rider of NJ Transit, this is a big one for me), more money for disabled veterans, and probably most surprising, his vote for limiting the term of interim Federal prosecutor appointments.

As great as all this is, one thing about this week is more problematic than supporting the cockfighting blades. In both the Garrett Gazette and on the floor the other night, Garrett imparted this little bit of "wisdom."

Let’s take a look at what the Democrat budget proposal would do to a family of four from Bergen County earning $70,000 per year. According to a study done by the New York Times, that family saw their tax bill slashed by 20% after the Republican congress passed tax relief measures between 2001 and 2003. To roll those tax cuts back now would take around $1,500 out of that family’s budget today.
The reason I used the quotes up top is because I can't find the article. I'm not saying it doesn't exist, I just can't find the article. I've searched the New York Times website using several keywords including "Democrats Budget", "Bush Tax Cut", "House Budget", "Bergen Family of Four" and "$70,000".

The search turned up a lot of recent stuff, including: The Garrett co-sponsored 2003 Bush Tax cuts are giving foreign businesses a competitive advantage over domestic ones; The Democrats balance the budget without providing AMT relief (same as Bush); The AMT now impacts 23.4 million of the nation's 90 million taxpayers with help from the Bush tax cuts; and a story about how long term health insurers are denying care for thousands of senior citizen policyholders. With all of this and much more, I couldn't find the study Garrett cited.

My hope is that this is not another example of Garrett misrepresenting the truth after having such a good start to the week. A link or where we could find the article in a hard copy would be helpful if somebody has one. With all sides firing up the spin machines over their budget proposals, I'll have enough to write about without needing another example. However, if in fact the article doesn't exist, that opens up a whole new can of worms.

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