Ten years ago President Bush signed into law unprecedented tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. The rich partied hearty that night, celebrating a windfall they hadn’t seen since the 1920s.
When Bush signed the massive giveaway he claimed that by June 2011, it would result in a $5.6 trillion budget surplus and tens of millions of new jobs that businesses would actually have a hard time filling. All of us, he predicted, would be a hell of a lot richer than we were back then.
Every one of those rosy predictions regarding tax cuts for the rich have fallen flat.
There is no budget surplus. Instead, there is a record deficit, created in part by those very tax cuts for the rich, along with the wars Bush started in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Economic Policy Institute notes that the tax cuts and the wars accounted for over $500 billion of the deficit in 2009 and will account for $7 trillion in deficits in 2009 through 2019.
And the jobs Bush said the rich would create with their additional billions of dollars in profits are nowhere to be found.
As for everyone getting richer: Sixty-five percent of all income growth since the Bush giveaways has been pocketed by the top 1 percent of earners. The top 1 percent got two-thirds of the pie, leaving 99 percent of the population the remaining third.
Now Republicans are adding insult to injury by issuing calls to make those tax cuts permanent.
They want the rest of us to pay for that by cuts in education, crumbling infrastructure, cuts in health care and retirement security, and withholding money from science and innovation. The Republican tax policy means setting up an economy that offers boondoggles for the rich and nothing in the way of jobs and a decent life for the people.
The immediate thing to do now is to pass Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s Fairness in Taxation Act. It would go a long way toward ending the Robin-Hood-in-reverse situation we have had for far too long – rob from the poor to give to the rich.
Just for starters, the Fairness in Taxation Act would immediately end all the tax cuts Bush gave to the billionaires and millionaires and it would close many of the loopholes big corporations now take advantage of.
It would allow working people, who really do need tax relief, a few of the breaks they have been denied for far too long.
Passage of the Fairness in Taxation Act would be an excellent way to observe the 10th anniversary of the disastrous Bush tax cuts. Let your representatives in Congress know.
Photo: A rally at the Minnesota Capitol in St. Paul on April 15 this year called for increasing taxes on the wealthy. They also called for an end to government budget cuts for education, health care and programs for the elderly and disabled. Fibonacci Blue CC 2.0