Questions About Using Federal Employees to Analyze John Kerry's Tax Proposals

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By on April 1, 2004 in Current Events with 0 Comments

Use of federal government resources, including federal employees, during a political campaign can be a complex thicket of laws and regulations.

With the presidential election campaign now upon us, we can expect to see allegations and counter allegations of misuse of these resources.

Here is one of the first allegations.

Democrats are alleging that the White House improperly used federal employees to calculate the cost of Senator John Kerry’s tax plan and then posted the results on the web site of the Department of the Treasury. The allegations were made public in the Wall Street Journal.

The posting on the Treasury site does not mention Kerry’s name. But it does lay out the potential cost of a tax plan that rolls back tax deductions for taxpayers with incomes above $200,000. This is the heart of Kerry’s proposal to raise additional revenue.

The Treasury posting notes that taxes would be raised on “hardworking individuals and married couples” by as much as 476 billion dollars. Here is the excerpt from the Treasury web site:

RAISING TAXES ON HARDWORKING INDIVIDUALS AND MARRIED COUPLES

Under these proposals, hardworking individuals and married couples could have their taxes raised by the following amounts:

Alternative 1

Under these proposals, assuming permanent extension, hardworking individuals and married couples could have their taxes raised by $476.9 billion. 

Under these proposals, assuming current law, hardworking individuals and married couples could have their taxes raised by $240.5 billion.

Alternative 2

Under these proposals, assuming permanent extension, hardworking individuals and married couples could have their taxes raised by $293.9 billion.

Under these proposals, assuming current law, hardworking individuals and married couples could have their taxes raised by $201.4 billion. 

The same day the document was posted on the Treasury web site, the Republican National Committee issued a “John Kerry $pendometer” and noted the cost of raising taxes on the top income bracket.

Democrats are charging that the administration improperly used the work of federal employees. The Treasury Department says it concluded the work was appropriate as the Department needs to analyze tax proposals so Congress and the administration can judge the effects of a proposed change.

It’s a long time until November and with a tight political race shaping up, readers can look for more allegations involving the role of federal employees in the election.

© 2017 Ralph R. Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ralph R. Smith.

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47

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