Grassroot Perspective – Feb. 19, 2003-The Feminist Movement's Grand Deception; Life, Liberty, And the Defense of Dignity: THE Challenge For Bioethics; Americans United For Separation of Church and State; Six Questions About Civility; Marriage and Welfare Reform: The Overwhelming Evidence That Marriage Education Works

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”Shoots (News, Views and Quotes)”


– The Feminist Movement’s Grand Deception

By Kimberly Schuld

Foundation Watch, Capital Research Center

Capital Research Center’s new book, Guide to Feminist Organizations, details the political agenda and funding support for the nation’s top 35 feminist organizations. Author Kimberly Schuld argues that most American women find these groups irrelevant to their concerns. Yet feminist groups such as the National Organization for Women (NOW)command the respectful attention of the media and the financial resources of major foundations and corporations. Schuld dissects NOW, Feminist Majority, League of Women Voters and the Ms. Foundation for Women in this issue.

CONTACT: Capital Research Center, 1513 16th St., NW,Washington, DC 20036, 202/483-6900, fax 202/483-6902, email

– Life, Liberty, And the Defense of Dignity: THE Challenge For Bioethics

By Leon R. Kass

American Enterprise

In a series of meditations on cloning, embryo research, the Human Genome Project, the sale of organs and the assault on morality itself, Kass evaluates the ongoing effort to break down the natural boundaries given us and to refashion the human body into an instrument of our will. Kass believes that technology has done and will continue to do wonders for our health and longevity, and that we have much to thank it for. But there is more at stake in the biological revolution than saving life and avoiding death. We must also strive to protect the ideas and practices that give us dignity and keep us human.

CONTACT: American Enterprise Institute, 1150 17th., NW,Washington, DC 20036, 202/862-5800, fax 202/862-7178,

– Americans United For Separation of Church and State

By Morgan Berman

Organization Trends, Capital Research Center

For more than half a century, Americans United for Separation of Church and State has led the Left’s crusade against virtually any involvement of religious groups in public life. To this end, AU lawyers file lawsuits against prayer at high school graduation ceremonies and the school choice voucher programs, prayer at high school graduation and the display of the Ten Commandments in government buildings. This issue examines how Barry Lynn is spearheading a campaign to defeat school choice.

CONTACT: Capital Research Center, 1513 16th St., NW,Washington, DC 20036, 202/483-6900, fax 202/483-6902, email,

– Six Questions About Civility

By Nicole Billante and Peter Saunders

Occasional Paper No. 82, Center for Independent Studies

Civility is a moral virtue and a social responsibility. Yet the term civility is often used without a true understanding of what it is and why it is important. Commentators are often quick to point out its decline without providing sufficient explanation for their conclusions. Some have even criticized civility as a mechanism of oppression. This paper aims to provide clarity to the debate by answering six key question–what is civility? It highlights the problems in measurement, the dangers in declaring civility’s decline, and future directions in research and policy analysis.

CONTACT: The Centre for Independent Studies, P.O. Box 92, St.Leonards, NSW 1590, Australia, 61/2-9438-4377, fax 61/2-9439-7310, email,

– Marriage and Welfare Reform: The Overwhelming Evidence That Marriage Education Works

By Patrick F. Fagan, Robert W. Patterson and Robert E. Rector

Bacgrounder No. 1606, The Heritage Foundation

Programs to increase the ability of couples to enter into healthy marriages and to help currently married couples to sustain and improve the quality of their relationships can and must play a critical role in welfare reform. Effective programs can and should be provided to low-income couples that need and want this assistance. While the president’s $300 million marriage initiative cannot by itself restore a culture of marriage, this critical component of welfare reform represents a necessary first step.

Contact: Publications, The Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Ave., NE, Washington, DC 20002, 202/546-4400, fax 202/543-9647,

Above articles are quoted from The Heritage Foundation, The Insider November/December 2002, see for details.

”Roots (Food for Thought)”

The Shrinking Pool of Taxpayers Gets Smaller Under Bush Plan increases the number of zero filers by 3.8 million, to nearly 40 million

Since President Bush released his $674 billion tax cut plan, a blizzard of numbers have swirled around Washington about how various income groups will or will not benefit from the plan. The January 12 edition of Time Magazine contained a typical presentation of these competing

“Although Bush touted the fact that the average tax bill would shrink $1,083, almost half of all filers would get reductions of less than $100, according to the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.”

The reason this statement is misleading is that the people who make up “almost half of all filers” owe almost no income taxes to begin with. Indeed, this year, 35.7 million tax filers (representing 69.6 million people) will have a zero tax liability. That is 26.7 percent of the roughly 133 million expected tax returns this year.

In 1996, by contrast, 29.4 million filers (24.5%) had a zero tax liability. This means that the 1997 tax cuts and the 2001 tax cuts
(EGTRRA) removed 6.3 million filers from the tax rolls.

Tax Foundation economists estimate that should the Bush plan be enacted, it would increase the number of tax filers with a zero tax liability by 3.8 million, to 39.5 million. Of these new zero tax filers, 3 million are families who are taken off the tax rolls because of the expansion of the child credit from $600 to $1,000 per child. Because of the large number of dependent children claimed on these returns, the total number of people represented by returns with zero tax liability will rise from 69.6 million, to 82 million, an increase of more than 12 million people.

Here are some characteristics of these zero liability tax returns (these figures do not add up to 100 percent because some taxpayers have multiple characteristics):

*46.7 percent, or 16.7 million, claim some amount of the child credit (total people in these households = 55.4 million);

*74 percent, or 26.5 million, receive some benefits from the Earned Income Credit (EIC);

*23 percent, or 8.3 million, are single individuals;

*5.6 percent, or 2 million, are childless couples, either seniors or working couples; and

*12 percent, or 4.3 million, have some business income (Schedule C).

The bottom line is that it is impossible to give income tax relief to people who do not pay income taxes. Unfortunately, when Congress’s Joint Tax Committee, or economists at Washington think tanks, calculate the distributional impact of the President’s plan on “taxpayers,” they do so on the entire universe of 133 million tax filers — including the 36 million who do not have a tax liability.

If distributional analysis is to be the standard by which Washington judges the benefits of any tax cut, then the only honest way to do this is to calculate the plan’s benefits to income tax payers, meaning those filers who have a positive income tax liability.

Above article is quoted from the Tax Foundation, Tax Foundation Fiscal Facts, January 2003.

”Evergreen (Today’s Quotes)”

“Did you know that Members of Congress — the people we’re counting on to save the Social Security system — can already invest in an individual retirement account that has a higher rate of return than Social Security? The average yearly rate of return for the federal employer plan’s stock fund over the past 14 years was 15 percent! When Reps. Robert Walker (R-Pa) and Patricia Schroeder (D-Colo.) retired in 1997, they each had accumulated $4.1 million in benefits.” — Pete du Pont

“[The Clean Elections Act] violates individuals’ First Amendment rights-the right to either speak or to not speak. It forces people to contribute to political candidates against their will. The marketplace ought to decide who the viable candidates are rather than the government.” — Clint Bolick on PBS

”’See Web site”’ ”’for further information. Join its efforts at “Nurturing the rights and responsibilities of the individual in a civil society. …” or email or call Grassroot of Hawaii Institute President Richard O. Rowland at or (808) 487-4959.”’