Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama clashed again today on the increasingly divisive issue of a proposed summer Gay Tax holiday. Clinton backs the measure as a socially responsible way to help the economy, while Obama accuses his rival of political pandering. The plan is also supported by the presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, but not by most economists, even gay ones.
"Gay people are just like you and me," Clinton said in a speech to a mostly blue collar crowd at the annual Leather Pants Factory Workers Convention, "Are we going to let a few small details, like where they put their genitals and the size of their dogs stop us from stimulating an economy entrenched in recession?"
Obama retorted, speaking to a gathering of the Board of Trustees for the Protection of Lesbians and Gays (BTPLG). "This is simple economics, people. I mean seriously, even the gay economists are saying this is a bad idea." Obama was not able to finish this speech due to problems with crowd control, but the full text is available on his website.
In fact, economists are in rare agreement, saying that, while a few, fabulous individuals may reap some benefit, a temporary repeal of the Gay Tax would cost the government billions in gay-related revenue, while doing relatively little to stimulate the economy at large.
"Oh sure, you'll see some small increases in the throw pillow and men's hair care markets, but this isn't really a fix for anything." said Terrence Poleskin of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, a power top. "What's really needed is a permanent, significant reduction in the Gay Tax for middle and upper income homosexuals. The proposed plan is nothing more than election year pandering to the gay community.
Presidential hopeful John McCain disagrees. "Homosexuality is a choice. The way I see it, these people have already chosen to bring all this prejudice and hardship on themselves, why don't we give them a little break and maybe help the economy while we're at it?"
Former Republican Congressman, Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who proposed the first Gay Tax legislation in 1977, spoke to reporters earlier today. "Whatever the arguments for or against, the reality is that a suspension of the Gay Tax, even just for the summer, will cost the US Government an estimated $150 billion in lost revenue - revenue that would normally support homosexual re-education programs, surgical remasculinification, and other programs deemed vital by a majority of Americans."
The fate of the summer Gay Tax holiday bill is unclear. The measure has some bi-partisan support, but is opposed by many members of Congress who are fearful that their support of such a measure may make them look gay during an election year.