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Friday, July 18, 2014

Bleeding ourselves to death

There’s a good reason why the GOP keep banging on about public spending – they want to stop you looking at the missing trillions thanks to the Bush Tax cuts. A new report argues these cuts actually cost Americans $6.6 trillion in personal income — more than enough to pay for every student loan, car loan and credit card debt in the U.S.

Investigative reporter David Cay Johnston calculated the average income of Americans for the years President George W Bush’s tax cuts were in effect -  between 2001 and 2012. After adjusting for inflation he compared that income with the average income in 2000, and determined that $6.6 trillion was missing.

“Consider what $48,000 of additional income over those 12 years would have meant to you,” Johnston wrote. “It is the equivalent of $11 appearing in your wallet every morning from the start of 2001 through the end of 2012.”
“Had that $6.6 trillion shortfall been realized as income, it would have been enough to pay off all the student loans in United States ($1.26 trillion), all the automobile loans ($892 billion) and all the credit card debt ($827 billion),” he noted. “After paying all that debt off and taking taxes into account, Americans still would have more than $2.4 trillion left in their pockets and bank accounts.”
And the investigative reporter pointed out that tax cuts not only damaged personal wealth, but they also took a toll on government services.
“What we’re seeing in America today is our country is falling apart, we are not maintaining it, we are not doing the things we need to do to continue to have our government,” Johnston explained. “And the answer that we’re provided with by people like [Republican Kansas Gov.] Sam Brownback: ‘We need more tax cuts.’ You know, what are we going to do? Bleed ourselves to death?”
As Johnston recalled in his discussing with MSNBC host Chris Hayes on Wednesday, Bush spent his 2000 campaign promising Americans that his tax cuts would lead to greater prosperity.  So much for that pipe dream.  Yet today the GOP are banging the same old drum, promising that cutting the taxes of the rich will somehow make middle and working class Americans better off.

Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over, while expecting a different result. In which case, the GOP and any Americans without the wealth to purchase their own island who votes for them are stark raving mad.

Kerry-anne Mendoza is a writer and activist. After a career as a management consultant holding senior positions in Banking, Health and Local Government - she gave it all up to live in a tent at Occupy London and has been writing ever since. She is based in the UK.