The Rich Get Richer

In recent weeks the stalled economy has brought renewed attention to the White House’s fiscal record and plans for the future. For the third straight year the number of people living below the poverty line has increased, as has the number of Americans without health insurance. During the Bush administration, the United States has lost roughly 1.8 million jobs. George W. Bush will be the first president since the Depression to preside over a net loss in jobs during his term. The Congressional Budget Office projects this year’s federal deficit at $422 billion. If Bush’s tax cuts remain in place for ten years, the projected deficit will reach $2.3 trillion. In light of these troubling statistics, it is little wonder that people on both the right and left are anxious about our economic future.

The president has deflected criticism of his economic stewardship by focusing tirelessly on the war in Iraq. When asked, he assures voters that his tax cuts will spur the economy and thereby increase federal tax revenue, thus reducing the deficit. Yet Bush’s reliance on tax cuts to solve every problem is not just bad public policy, it is bad economics. By pushing through the largest tax breaks since the Reagan years, Bush has done more than any modern president to widen the disparity between rich and poor. The willingness of Congressional Democrats facing election to vote to extend some of those tax cuts last month was disgraceful....

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