upcoming events

in the next two weeks:

see all upcoming events


Do you have old cell phones or used ink cartridges and want to recycle them? Contact Liz Fossett.

dems poll

Unfortunately our poll cannot be displayed on this page.

georgetown dems blog

read the rest of the blog


Are you a Georgetown Dems alum? We'd love to hear what you're doing now!

subscribe to our mailing list

mailing list archive


“If elected President, I will oppose and veto any increase in individual or corporate marginal income tax rates or individual or corporate income tax hikes.” -Candidate George W. Bush, June 1999

Candidate Bush was clear as crystal back then. As clear as his father even. If he was elected President, Bush promised over and over, there would be no new taxes in America. Last week, however, President Bush went back on that pledge, and once again, the victims of his lies are American teenagers. The victim of his actions is America's future.

The tax increase in question was wrapped in a $69 million tax cut bill that President Bush signed into law this week. The provision triples tax rates for teenagers with their own college savings funds, and effectively raises their taxes to the same rate as their parents'. According to the NY Times, "long term capital gains and dividends that were previously taxed at 5 percent for teenagers will now be taxed at 15 percent. Interest that had been taxed at 10 percent will now be taxed at as much as 35 percent." The increases are retroactive to the first day of 2006, and are expected to raise $2.2 billion in revenue over the next decade.

When questioned about Bush's early campaign promise and the new tax increase, the White House released a statement that highlighted the significant tax cuts in the bill, and claimed the President had "reduced taxes on all people who pay income taxes," but did not address the increase on teenagers. When their statement was challenged, the White House amended it, and said that the President had relieved the tax burden for "virtually all people who pay income taxes."

While the broken promise-- and the administration's attempt to hide or ignore it-- seem to be symptomatic of a broader disrespect for truth and accountability in the White House, that's nothing new. What I'm more concerned about is the choice the Republican Congress and President Bush made to pay for their massive new tax cuts by further burdening America's youth. The attitude that problems can be put off until tomorrow-- that we can pay for new tax cuts or today's social programs by bogging our nation further down in debt or asking our children to pay more than their fair share-- is a dangerous one.

America's policies, foreign and domestic, ought always to reflect one truth: our children are our future. We must encourage excellence in them, and by doing so, we ensure the continued exellence of our nation. Education has been proven the key to reducing crime and eliminating poverty. It is an imperative investment toward our future economic prosperity.

I'm not going to try to claim that the Bush administration is pro-crime, or anti-prosperity. I wouldn't be able to prove it, and I don't believe it's true. What I do believe is that the White House understands America's youth isn't a vocal minority. They can raise our taxes, cut our student aid, and send our friends overseas to fight in their wars and we will not respond, we will not protest. Most won't even notice.

So last week, when they needed to find a source of revenue to counterbalance some of their tax cuts, we were an easy target.

My proposal? Let's not make it easy for President Bush to burden our generation with his mistakes. I didn't comment when Rachel wrote earlier in the month about youth participation in politics, but it's essential, and if you're reading this blog you already know that. Our priorities are different than the Presidents', and he (unfortunately) makes all the decisions. Let's do our best to influence them.


Rach C said...

Jenna is absolutely, positively correct on this one. But we can't lose sight of the big picture, too. President Bush may have signed the bill into law, but it still takes 51 senators and 218 representatives to go along. This bill passed 244-185 in the House and 54-44 in the Senate. If your congressman was one of those 244, or your senator one of those 54, now's the time to call their offices and let them know how you, as a voter (or future voter), feel about his or her position on this legislation. (Granted, this particular tax cut bill had many components, of which this was only a small part, but it's still always important that your congressman or senator vote pro-education.) Check out the House website and the Senate website to see how your congresspeople voted and to contact their offices.

For those of you concerned about the short-term implications of this bill (the change affects you if you're between the ages of 14 and 18), you should consider using a Section 529 plan, which would help alleviate some of the taxes on college savings.