Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Thursday | May 29, 2003

True cost of Bush's policies: $44 trillion debt

Bush tells us that his tax cuts are returning "your" money back to you. If that's the case, who "owns" the $44 trillion in debt his policies will inflict on our nation?

And no, that number is not liberal partisan hyperbole -- it was determined by Bush's Treasure Department:

The Bush administration has shelved a report commissioned by the Treasury that shows the US currently faces a future of chronic federal budget deficits totalling at least $44,200bn in current US dollars.

The study, the most comprehensive assessment of how the US government is at risk of being overwhelmed by the "baby boom" generation's future healthcare and retirement costs, was commissioned by then-Treasury secretary Paul O'Neill.

But the Bush administration chose to keep the findings out of the annual budget report for fiscal year 2004, published in February, as the White House campaigned for a tax-cut package that critics claim will expand future deficits.

The study asserts that sharp tax increases, massive spending cuts or a painful mix of both are unavoidable if the US is to meet benefit promises to future generations. It estimates that closing the gap would require the equivalent of an immediate and permanent 66 per cent across-the-board income tax increase.

Uh oh -- how to explain this away? Wasn't the tax cut supposed to boost the economy, leading to the shrinking of the defict?

Of course we know it's all Bush LIES in order to 1) pay off his corporate backers and 2) starve the government of revenues needed to meet its responsibilities. When the Treasury Department's own studies show tax raises are needed to rescue the nation from incomprehensible debt, pushing and signing a tax cut is the height of irresponsibility.

And the economy, while showing anemic growth (1.9 percent in Q1), is still bleeding jobs.

Analysts are expecting the unemployment rate to be 6.1 percent, up from 6 percent in the April report.

The May report is expected to show a loss of 26,000 jobs, compared with a loss of 48,000 jobs in April. For the first three months of the year, more than half a million jobs have been lost.

That's a net loss of half a million jobs. That puts Bush's record at what -- about 3 million jobs lost in less than three years?

New jobless claims remain at troubling levels -- over the magical 400,000 mark for 13 weeks straight. While the number of people receiving continuing benefits is at 3.76 million -- the highest level in 18 months.

So our economy remains in the gutter. Bush's initial tax cuts did nothing for the economy except sink it further into the red. The new tax cuts will do nothing better. And the GOP is already pushing for a new round of tax cuts in the Fall.

At this rate, $44 trillion seems wildly optimistic.

Posted May 29, 2003 08:16 AM | Comments (68)


Bush Administration
Business and Economy
Foreign Policy

© 2002. Steal all you want.
(For non-commercial use, that is.)