By way of marking today's 10th anniversary of George W. Bush's job-killing, society-crushing tax cuts for the rich --- which we recently illustrated via one very clear chart, as the largest factor, by far, in exacerbating our current public debt --here, courtesy of Think Progress, is just a few of the things this country could have had for the same 10-year price tag as those tax cuts for rich people who didn't need them...
- 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
Well, that all might have been nice for all Americans.
So how are the current crop of GOP contenders for the 2012 Presidential nomination responding? Here is former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's economic plan, as outlined in a speech today, which promises to triple the size of the existing Bush tax cuts...
Courtesy, once again, of Think Progress, Pawlenty called today for [emphasis theirs]:
– Cutting the top individual income tax rate down to 25 percent;
– Having just two income tax brackets, 10 percent and 25 percent;
– Eliminating all taxation on capital gains, dividends, and estates;
– Cutting the corporate tax rate down to 15 percent
These proposals, taken together would bestow a massive tax cut on the wealthiest people in the country. They would also reduce overall federal revenues to a such a low level that even if Pawlenty’s draconian, radical spending targets were achieved, deficits and debt would still soar out of control.
All together, Pawlenty’s tax proposal would generate an average revenue level of just 13.6 percent of GDP from 2013-2021. That translates to a tax cut of $7.8 trillion, and that’s on top of $2.5 trillion cost of extending all of the Bush tax cuts (see below for details on how this estimate was calculated).
Pawlenty also says that he will balance the budget, and cap spending at 18 percent of GDP. Unfortunately for Pawlenty, his tax plan leaves him about $8.4 trillion short. Given that reality, he can either embrace a huge middle-class tax increase, or give up his claims to a balanced budget. If he doesn’t make up that revenue, deficits and debt will skyrocket, even if he does slash spending back to levels not seen in half a century.
Click here to see how the Center for American Progress' Director of Tax and Budget Policy, Michael Linden, arrived at those numbers.
And, since you've read this far, in more "celebration" of the 10th anniversary of Bush's tax cuts, here's that chart again, as originally published by TPM, detailing the specific causes for our current federal debt...