News Release

* Facts on Tax Cuts * Bush Lies on Civil Liberties

LEE FARRIS
Farris is the senior organizer on tax policy at United for a Fair Economy. She said today: “This new round of corporate tax cuts comes at a time when our country has a record $415 billion deficit, and when many of the largest and most profitable corporations already are not paying their fair share of taxes — and in some cases, not paying any tax at all. There’s pork for everyone: $28 million for cruise ship operators, $101 million for race track owners, and $44 million for importers of Chinese ceiling fans. Worst of all, there’s $27.9 billion for companies that earn profits abroad. When big companies don’t pay their fair share, it means that either the government has to cut vital services we all depend on, or the biggest deficit in history gets even bigger, and our kids get stuck with the bill.”
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MAYA ROCKEYMOORE
Rockeymoore is the vice president of research and programs at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and author of the book The Political Action Handbook: A How-To Guide For The Hip Hop Generation. She said today: “The administration’s tax cuts have proven to be a giveaway to wealthy individuals and corporations at the expense of hard-working Americans. The effect has been particularly severe on African Americans, who have benefited very little while bearing a disproportionate burden.”

NANCY MURRAY
In the last presidential debate, in response to a questioner concerned that civil liberties were being eroded under the Patriot Act, Bush claimed: “Every action being taken against terrorists requires court order, requires scrutiny.” Murray is director of the ACLU of Massachusetts Bill of Rights Education Project. She said today: “In fact, section 505 of the Patriot Act allows for National Security Letters which have no court scrutiny. These provisions were recently ruled unconstitutional in ‘John Doe and ACLU vs. Ashcroft’ for violating the First and Fourth Amendments but the ruling was stayed for 90 days. In other settings, like the FISA court, the role of the court is so minimal you certainly can’t call it ‘scrutiny.’ … We are concerned that civil liberties for some are set to be further eroded. CBS News recently reported that the FBI’s ’04 Threat Task Force’ is ‘convinced that al Qaeda is still determined to disrupt the U.S. fall elections’ and the FBI is preparing ‘a massive counter-offensive of interrogations, surveillance and possible detentions.’ The plan includes dragnet questioning of ‘persons of interest.'” Murray is a contributor to the new book Civil Rights in Peril: The Targeting of Arabs and Muslims.
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NANCY CHANG
Senior litigation attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, Chang is author of the book Silencing Political Dissent. She said today: “Bush got his facts wrong. Under the Patriot Act, the FBI can issue National Security Letters that allow it to obtain records on U.S. citizens without their consent or knowledge and without any oversight by the courts. On September 28, a federal judge ruled that this Patriot Act provision violates the First and Fourth Amendments precisely because it does not allow for scrutiny.”

Chang added: “Bush has also neglected to mention his administration’s penchant for secret detentions and the lengths to which it has gone to evade court review of these detentions. The administration has designated at least three citizens as ‘enemy combatants’ and held them in indefinite incommunicado detention without due process of law. Also, after 9/11, the Justice Department targeted Muslim men for arrest and kept many non-citizens in INS detention for months on end, until they were cleared of terrorism by the FBI. These detentions turned the Constitution on its head by presuming persons guilty until shown innocent.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, (202) 421-6858; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167