Every Dollar Matters

True Cost of the Bush Tax Cuts

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In the last four years of the Clinton administration the Federal budget was balanced, and the U.S. Government had surpluses.

This degree of fiscal responsibility can largely be attributed to the desires of the American people. It should also be noted that the Republicans held the majority in both the House and the Senate at for one of the four years there were surplusses.

The Bush administration, through HR 1836 over his term cut taxes. In seven of his eight years in office the American people recieved a reduction of Federal Income taxes.

The tax cuts were debt financed.

In 2005 the cost of the Tax Cuts was $929 billion dollars, $69 billion being in interest payments. (source: http://tinyurl.com/yjnallo). The cost of the debt financed Bush tax cuts is 2.48 trillion dollars from 2001-2010. (source:http://tinyurl.com/nvt79k). It is also important to understand that after 2010 we will still owe money on these tax cuts and still being paying interest on the debt. Also, you need to keep in mind that the tax cuts represent revenue lost.

What did the American People Get for 2.48 Trillion?

When numbers like billions and trillions get thrown around many of us seem to glaze over. These numbers are very impersonal. When we all file our tax returns we all use the Federal Tax tables. So, I downloaded the tax tables from 2001 through 2008. Since the tax tables are what we all use to file they provide a very accurate answer to this question. To keep things simple I calculated the tax savings over the 8 years period and then calculated the average monthly amount realized in tax savings over that period of time. Here is what I came up with.

Annual Adjusted  
Gross Income     Savings   Extra 
(Married Joint)  %         Monthly Income
_______________  _______   ______________
    $25,000       1.1%       $2.80
    $50,000       1.3%       $7.55
    $95,000       2.8%      $39.55

To keep things simple I am only presenting data for Married couples filing jointly. This filing status received the best deal.

To recap. Our government debt financed three tax cuts. You can see what you got in return.

On February 4th RNC Chairman Michael Steele speaking at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, in response to President Obama’s plan to let the Bush tax cuts expire on families making over $250,000, Steele said: "Trust me, after taxes, a million dollars is not a lot of money."

Who Voted Yes to the Debt Financed Tax Cuts

VOTING YES ON HR 1836

Max Baucus, 
John Breaux, 
Jean Carnahan, 
Max Cleland, 
Dianne Feinstein, 
Tim Johnson, 
Herb Kohl, 
Mary Landrieu, 
Blanche Lincoln, 
Zell Miller, 
Ben Nelson, 
Bob Torricelli,
Wayne Allard, 
George Allen, 
Bob Bennett, 
Kit Bond, 
Sam Brownback, 
Jim Bunning, 
Conrad Burns, 
Ben Campbell, 
Thad Cochran, 
Susan Collins, 
Larry Craig, 
Mike Crapo, 
Mike DeWine, 
John Ensign, 
Peter Fitzgerald, 
Bill Frist, 
Phil Gramm, 
Chuck Grassley, 
Judd Gregg, 
Chuck Hagel, 
Orrin Hatch, 
Jesse Helms, 
Timothy Hutchinson, 
Kay Bailey Hutchison, 
James Inhofe, 
James Jeffords, 
Jon Kyl, 
Trent Lott, 
Richard Lugar, 
Mitch McConnell, 
Frank Murkowski, 
Donald Nickles, 
Pat Roberts, 
Rick Santorum, 
Jeff Sessions, 
Richard Shelby, 
Robert Smith, 
Gordon Smith, 
Olympia Snowe, 
Arlen Specter, 
Ted Stevens, 
Craig Thomas, 
Fred Thompson, 
Strom Thurmond, 
George Voinovich, 
John Warner