60 Billion in Tax Cuts The Real Cost

Robert Borosage

David Leonhardt in the NYT does a good service by laying out simply what $60 billion a year in tax cuts — the amount that will go to those earning over $250,000 if the Republicans get their way (adding to their income an average of $25,000 per household — with most of that going in far larger sums to multimillionaires)

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/05/weekinreview/05numbers.html

(I’ve changed the order and eliminated some)

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

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

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

•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.

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

•A $500 tax cut for all households.

Can anyone with a straight face and a decent heart actually stand up and say it is better to give this money to the affluent than to provide high quality pre-school to every child?

No, but defenders of the top end tax cuts are not called upon to do that. Becuase neither the president nor the Democrats in Congress are making this case.

This is why we need independent communications capacity for progressives inside and outside the Congress. Otherwise the sensible alternatives are excluded without ever being heard, much less considered.

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