Monday, December 6, 2010

Bush Tax Cuts For The Rich Cost $60 Billion A Year. What Else Could That Money Buy?

Now that an extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest is a foregone conclusion, let's look at what else we could do with the $60 billion annual cost of continuing such cuts for incomes above $250,000. David Leonhardt of the New York Times provides the list:

• As much deficit reduction as the elimination of earmarks, President Obama’s proposed federal pay freeze, a 10 percent cut in the federal work force and a 50 percent cut in foreign aid — combined.

• A tripling of federal funding for medical research.

• Universal preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds, with relatively small class sizes.

• A much larger troop surge in Afghanistan, raising spending by 60 percent from current levels.

• A national infrastructure program to repair and upgrade roads, bridges, mass transit, water systems and levees.

• A 15 percent cut in corporate taxes.

• Twice as much money for clean-energy research as suggested by a recent bipartisan plan.

Free college, including room and board, for about half of all full-time students, at both four- and two-year colleges.

• A $500 tax cut for all households.

(Illustration: Mike Keefe, The Denver Post)

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