June 7: A Date That Will Live in Fiscal and Economic Infamy

Chuck Sheketoff

In the annals of this nation’s fiscal and economic history, June 7 is surely a date that will live in infamy. Ten years ago, on June 7, 2001, then-President George W. Bush signed into law a package of tax cuts that would transform surpluses into deficits and inflict serious damage on our nation’s fiscal health.

To mark this disastrous policy, the Economic Policy Institute has released 10 facts to note about the Bush-era tax cuts on their 10th anniversary (PDF). Those 10 facts, with data to back them up, are:

  1. The Bush tax cuts disproportionately benefited the wealthy
  2. The Bush tax cuts did little for low-income families
  3. The Bush tax cuts never trickled down
  4. The Bush tax cuts were a poorly designed economic stimulus
  5. The Bush tax cuts failed to create strong long-run growth
  6. The Bush tax cuts were so expensive that they added greatly to the debt
  7. The Bush tax cuts were much more expensive than advertised
  8. The Bush tax cuts continue to be expensive
  9. The Bush tax cuts eliminated the most progressive federal tax: taxes on large estates
  10. A decade of Bush tax cuts are increasing interest spending today

Unfortunately, the Bush-era tax cuts live on, as the Obama Administration signed a two-year extension in December 2010.

President Obama reportedly has said that next time around he won’t compromise on extending the tax cuts for the wealthy, but congressional Republicans are expected to press the issue.

What would extending the Bush tax cuts mean for the nation?

According to Citizens for Tax Justice, extending the Bush tax cuts (PDF) would mean that that the richest one percent of the nation’s taxpayers would get an average tax cut of $68,079 in 2013. Meantime, the bottom 60 percent of taxpayers would get an average tax cut of $487.

In Oregon, the richest one percent of the state’s taxpayers would get an average tax cut of $44,835 in 2013, while the bottom 60 percent of taxpayers would get an average tax cut of $483, according to CTJ’s analysis (PDF).

For the nation as a whole, extending the tax cuts would mean that the nation’s debt relative to the economy would continue to grow. Stated differently, letting the Bush tax cuts expire would quickly stabilize the nation’s debt situation, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Let’s hope that President Obama does draw the line in the sand on the Bush tax cuts, lest this date grow in its degree of infamy.

Oregon Center for Public PolicyChuck Sheketoff is the executive director of the Oregon Center for Public Policy. You can sign up to receive email notification of OCPP materials at www.ocpp.org.

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    But.. but... but... didn't Obama triple the national debit? This has to be more liberal lies! Like the ones about global warming or landing men on the moon or the death of Obama bin Laden...

    ...Okay. So I suck at sarcasm.

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    In other news, it's June 2011 and IT'S STILL BUSH'S FAULT!

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    OK, I'll bite. The Bush tax cuts are perceived to be bad, and the cause of all problems today.


    Last year, before the House returned to Republican control, and while both houses of Congress were under D control, our Congress voted to sustain the tax cuts that were about to expire. And our PResident Obama signed the extension into law for another two years.

    My wonder: why aren't these now called the Obama tax cuts?

    Inquiring minds want to know!

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    Good read, Chuck. Thank you.

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    I certainly agree that the Bush-Obama tax cuts for the millionaires and billionaires is a day that will live in infamy. That expression is usually reserved for the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan. Today, we have a new perspective.

    The end game of these tax cuts has created the world's super power. China, with the active encouragement of Barack Obama is planning to open 257 special economic zones in the US. The first will be in Idaho. A fifty square mile manufacturing center south of Boise will answer the question about how the New World Order will deal with high energy prices. And, it will solve the problems of the excess workers in China as it will be the workers from China who will be in Idaho creating the cheap crap the Wall- Mart shoppers must have to deal with the low wage strategy embraced by Obama's anti-union advisors.

    I want a real democrat.

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    Chuck, will you agree that the "surpluses" were based on economic growth projections that didn't materialize?

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