George W. Bush has determinedly kept out of the spotlight since his US presidency ended, but the tax cuts bearing his name that passed a decade ago still have a grip on the fiscal debate in Washington.
Republicans and Democrats have been warring over Mr Bush’s tax cuts in a see-saw battle this week, and Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, discussed them during his testimony on Capitol Hill on Thursday.
They are also at the heart of a budget debate about whether the US will fall over a “fiscal cliff” at the end of this year, when the Bush tax cuts and other measures expire.
“The potential expiration of the so-called Bush tax cuts is the single biggest item in the fiscal cliff,” Mr Bernanke said, who said their expiration, along with other budget changes locked in at the year’s end, will in one hit take funds equal to 3 to 5 per cent of GDP out of the economy.
In other words; The Bush tax cuts are costing the United States $729.5 billion annually.
That loss of funds for our treasury spurs these Friedmanite pieces of shit to tell our government we need to adopt "austerity plans." We need to cut social services. We need to cut infrastructure funding. We need to kill the departments of energy and education, etc., etc.
We're looking at a betting match here. Bernake is betting that the people of the United States would rather see seven hundred and thirty billion dollars flow from the US treasury into the pockets of millionaires than risk a 3% drop in GDP. Not suffer a guaranteed drop, just maybe perhaps take a risk on it.