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Bush's Tax Breaks For SUVs

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    HIGHTOWER: A Hummer of a Tax Loophole By Jim Hightower, AlterNet April 20, 2004 A promotional letter from a Hummer dealer excitedly made this pitch: Allow me
    Message 1 of 1 , May 6, 2004
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      HIGHTOWER: A Hummer of a Tax Loophole

      By Jim Hightower, AlterNet
      April 20, 2004

      A promotional letter from a Hummer dealer excitedly made this
      pitch: "Allow me to introduce you to a fabulous opportunity. A tax
      loophole so big you could drive a Hummer H2 through it!"


      I'm afraid he was not exaggerating. Tucked way down in the arcane
      language of one of George W's tax-cuts for the rich was a provision
      that allows businesses to deduct up to $100,000 from their income
      taxes for the full cost of big SUV's.


      At a time when the federal deficit is bloating, at a time when we
      should be cutting back on the gluttonous consumption of foreign oil,
      at a time when pollution from cars is amassing a record level of the
      carbon-dioxide gas that causes global warming – Washington has gouged
      a loophole into our tax laws that actively encourages rich people to
      avoid paying a big chunk of their taxes by buying the biggest,
      hoggiest gas guzzlers and pollution machines that exist in the entire
      auto kingdom.


      Bush's loophole literally requires buyers to go for the huge, most
      luxurious tanks on the road – Hummers, Range Rovers, Navigators, etc.
      The deduction only applies to vehicles weighing 6,000 pounds or more.
      Forget your zippy roadsters, your perky hybrids, your family sedans,
      your humble pickup trucks – to qualify for this tax break, your road
      machine has to be bigger than big. How big? Even the Ford Explorer or
      Chevy Suburban doesn't qualify.


      An accountant tells of a client who was going to buy an Explorer. But
      by moving way up in price and weight to the yacht-like Lincoln
      Navigator, he was able to slip through Bush's loophole and save
      $20,000 – meaning he got the bigger one for about the same as the
      Explorer would have cost, courtesy of us taxpayers.


      Why should we be giving tax incentives to rich people so they can
      drive a glorified hog for their latte runs? To help shut down this
      loophole, call Taxpayers for Common Sense: 1-800-taxpayer.


      Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of 'Thieves In High Places:
      They've Stolen Our Country And It's Time To Take It Back,' on sale
      now from Viking Press.

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