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The $2.5 Trillion Tragedy: What America Has Given Up For 10 Years Of Bush Tax Cuts

By Zaid Jilani on Jun 7, 2011 at 9:15 am

Today marks the 10th anniversary of former President George W. Bush signing into law his 2001 tax cuts (he passed a second round in 2003). While doing so, Bush promised prosperity and growth, but the nation got neither.

The cost of these budget-busting 2001 and 2003 tax cuts was, as estimated by Citizens for Tax Justice, roughly $2.5 trillion through 2010. But America didn’t have to go down this route of cutting taxes and hoping for growth to miraculously appear. There were other policy options available to policymakers.

ThinkProgress, using data on various social spending projects from the National Priorities Project — which does these calculations for the cost of the Iraq and Afghan wars — has estimated ten other possible policies we could’ve paid for at the same $2.5 trillion price of the Bush tax cuts. While not all of these policies are currently performed by the federal government, they do represent an accurate calculation of the monetary tradeoffs, and each one individually would cost the same as the Bush tax cuts. Here are ten alternatives we could’ve pursued instead:

- Give 122.7 Million Children Low-Income Health Care Every Year For Ten Years

- Give 49.2 Million People Access To Low-Income Healthcare Every Year For Ten Years

- Provide 43.1 Million Students With Pell Grants Worth $5,500 Every Year For Ten Years

- Provide 31.5 Million Head Start Slots For Children Every Year For Ten Years

- Provide VA Care For 30.7 Million Military Veterans Every Year For Ten Years

- Provide 30.4 Million Scholarships For University Students Every Year For Ten Years

- Hire 4.19 Million Firefighters Every Year For Ten Years

- Hire 3.67 Million Elementary School Teachers Every Year For Ten Years

- Hire 3.6 Million Police Officers Every Year For Ten Years

- Retrofit 144.6 Million Households For Wind Power Every Year For Ten Years

- Retrofit 54.2 Million Households For Solar Photovoltaic Energy Every Year For Ten Years

The tradeoffs paint a stark picture. For the same price as the Bush tax cuts, which did little to help the economy, we could’ve sent tens of millions of students to college, retrofitted every household in America with the capacity to generate alternative energy, hired millions of firefighters and police officers, effectively ended our national shame of having kids who lack health care coverage, or put millions of more teachers into classrooms. But instead, Congress passed budget-breaking tax cuts, and then went on to pass even more in 2003. In 2010, Congress then went on to renew the Bush tax cuts for an additional two years, and the political will for the sort of public investments listed above appears to have dried up. ThinkProgress.org - Bush Tax Cuts


Added: Jun-13-2011 Occurred On: Jun-7-2011
By: EyeMaster
In:
World News, Politics
Tags: politics, Bush, 2001, 2.5 trillion dollars, Tax cuts, policy makers, Republicans, Iraq, Afghanistan, low-income, child healthcare The Rich, Screw the poor, waste, ThinkProgress,
Location: United States (load item map)
Views: 6306 | Comments: 57 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 2
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  • only complete fools think there is a negative economic impact to leaving money in the hands of those who earn it.

    Government doesn't have a revenue problem tards, it has a spending problem

    Posted Jun-13-2011 By 

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  • Fucking hilarious upload. You can't track the tax cuts, where they went, what they got spent on, by whom, how and where. But rest assured, the government reaped a cyclical tax gain on all levels when it was spent. Stop acting like the money was the government's when it never was. We could all pay 98% in taxes and there still would be people asking why that 2% is "a tax cut" and what it could buy. Yeah, we need more fucking firemen and cops, so they can all join unions and bloat th More..

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  • awesome. i do not benefit from these "bush tax cuts". how do i apply?

    Posted Jun-13-2011 By 

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  • Complete and utter idiocy based on fairy tail economics.

    Posted Jun-13-2011 By 

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  • This is just the tip of the iceberg but... did you see that 6.6 billion is MISSING from Iraq? Sent over aprox. 20 planes years back containing 12 billion dollars and now they say that half of it "Dissappeared". LMAO Wonder how many Kayman Island bank accounts got opened that year?

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  • funny how Liberals hate tax cuts, but Pres Kennedy was a big beleaver in them. Try pointing that out to a Liberal sometime and see what happens

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  • Good post. Only idiots ignore the benefits the US socialist based services have provided them.

    Services like: The US Military, highways, roads, electricity, police and fire, etc., etc. etc.

    Teabaggers are so stupid.

    Posted Jun-13-2011 By 

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    • @viennachoirboy

      ummm maybe you need to educate yourself on what the money gets spent on. At leat before you go hypocritically calling other people stupid.

      hint: SSI is 1/3rd the budget and unenmployment is almost just as much.

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  • Obama and his democrat clown car have spent more money than ALL THE OTHER PRESIDENTS WE HAVE EVER HAD....COMBINED.

    But democrats think its the Bush Tax cuts that are the problem.

    Proof once again...democrats are dumb as fuck and must be rounded up and deported.

    Posted Jun-13-2011 By 

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  • History shows the country does better when taxes are higher...just saying.
    Only fools think that a 100% capitalist or 100% socialist system would work. We need some of both.

    Posted Jun-13-2011 By 

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    • @dxh

      actually it doesn't. Regan cut taxes and the economy went gangbusters, Bush cut taxes after 9-11 and we recovered and the economy was doing fantastic...until the Democrats took over the House 4 years ago

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    • @_Byron_
      If tax cuts for the rich were the key to economic growth, then tell us why the economy is in the shitter after 10 years of reduced taxes on the richest 1%. Nothing else needs to be said when REALITY proves you wrong.

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    • @picklethepug

      It's called the Affordable Housing act brought to you by the DNC.

      It's called EPA, it's called EIS, it's called regulations, it's called inflation, it's called Obamacare, it's called QE1 & QE2, it's called D E M O C R A T S

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    • @_Byron_
      yes because we all know the EPA didn't exist before Obama and it was too much regulation that allowed the Wall Street to game the system and line their pockets while driving the economy into the ground. Plis. "Obamacare" doesn't take effect for another 3 years and the economy went into the shitter while Bush was in office.

      Fail on all counts. Again, you need to join us here in reality, friend.

      Posted Jun-13-2011 By 

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    • @dxh

      That's utter nonsense. History shows no such thing!

      Posted Jun-13-2011 By 

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  • Hey, at least 1% of the nation is doing better than they ever have, and that's all that really matters because according to Conservatives, if it wasn't for the rich job creators, the economy would be in really bad shape. Oh, wait.....

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    • @picklethepug

      a lib opining on economics, thats rich, kinda like watching Barney and Friends talk about Quantum Physics

      Posted Jun-13-2011 By 

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    • @_Byron_

      LOL!!!!

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    • @_Byron_ unfortunately for you, there is not ONE fact in existence supporting your argument. Taxes are at a historic low in the US, and so are jobs, investment in jobs, and new business start-ups. All those tax cuts did was allow the mega-rich to buy new, foreign made cars and lay-off workers.

      Provide one fact to the contrary or can it.

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    • @viennachoirboy

      of course that has nothing to do with the printing of money, the redistribution of wealth, the democrat caused Housing crash, Democrats punitive regulations, Environmental regulations, the price of gas, the punitive tax code or anything like that right?

      You need to get the basics of economics 101 before you go running your mouth.

      Governments do not create jobs or wealth, they destroy wealth. It's people in the private sector (like me) who create jobs. Taxes should be flat an More..

      Posted Jun-13-2011 By 

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    • @_Byron_

      Game

      Set and

      Match.

      Posted Jun-13-2011 By 

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  • Since Obama continued the Bush Tax Cuts, shouldn't we call them The Obama Tax Cuts now? LOL!!


    Perhaps the stupidest upload I've seen on LL in the past 12 months. And my earlier question still stands: who is going to pay for all of those firemen, cops, and teacher's salaries, benefits, and pensions?? That's right, libs can't think that far ahead. Fiscal responsibility is like quantum physics to them.

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  • The question should be how much have we lost with obamas economic plan.Yep trillions spent to enrich his cronies and the unions.Damn.

    Posted Jun-13-2011 By 

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    • @cocytan
      wow, either your memory starts when Obama was inaugurated or you really don't have a fucking clue what you are talking about. Or both.

      Posted Jun-13-2011 By 

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    • @picklethepug

      you never have anything intellegent to say. You are a classic mindless liberal. Exactly the type that the Democrats love, you don't respond well to logic but clearly you respond to mob speak, getting ginned up on slogans and other tricks. Go away and do us all a favor and don't breed

      Posted Jun-13-2011 By 

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    • @_Byron_
      Never been accused of not responding well to logic by someone who is denying the fact that the economy is in the worst shape in history after 10 years of tax cuts to the rich. That's funny, dude. Keep 'em comin'!

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    • @picklethepug Dude, this report is bs! Bush tax cuts don't add up to 2.5 trill!

      Besides, tax cuts have nothing to do with the deficit.

      You reinforce the fact that liberalism is a brain disease! #cannotdomath

      Posted Jun-14-2011 By 

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    • Comment of user 'EyeMaster' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Written by a fresh out of high school, muslim dork!

    Posted Jun-13-2011 By 

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  • What a load of crap. Should cut a lot more taxes.

    Posted Jun-14-2011 By 

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  • 96% of all income taxes are paid by the top 50% of wage earners.
    The top 1% pay over a third, 34.27% of all income taxes.
    The top 5% pay 54.36% of all income taxes
    The top 10% pay 65.84%
    The bottom 50%? They pay a paltry 3.46% of all income taxes

    The top 1% is paying nearly ten times the federal income taxes than the bottom 50%

    Posted Jun-13-2011 By 

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    • @_Byron_
      That's because they have 95% of the money, dumbass.

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    • @picklethepug

      insults don't replace intellegence: But I suppose informing yourself before making idiotic remarks on LL is just too much to ask

      And who earns what? The top 1% earns 16.77% of all income (2002: 16.12%). The top 5% earns 31.18% of all the income (2002: 30.55%). The top 10% earns 42.36% of all the income (2002: 41.77%); the top 25% earns 64.86% of all the income (2002: 64.37%) , and the top 50% earns 86.01% (2002: 85.77%) of all the income.

      Posted Jun-13-2011 By 

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    • @_Byron_
      So if the rich are so overburdened by taxes under the current system why do you defend it? I always get a good laugh when I hear Conservatives claim that the Bush tax cut was actually a tax hike for the rich because it shifted more of the burden on to them, yet they still want to keep the Bush tax codes.

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  • So we missed an opportunity to give away (WASTE) 2.5 trillion dollars. Any somehow thats a bad thing?

    Posted Nov-24-2012 By 

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  • The gov't spends too MUCH! Wake up liberals!

    Posted Dec-15-2013 By 

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