Bridge 9340 over the Mississippi River
at Minneapolis collapsed in 2007.
The federal government had designated
the bridge as "structurally deficient,"
the same category as 75,000 other U.S. bridges.
As noted Monday in Tenth anniversary of disastrous Bush tax cuts
, Americans have seen economic inequality rise sharply because of the tax cuts enacted 10 years ago today. According to an analysis
by Zaid Jilani at ThinkProgress, those cuts have caused immense amounts of other damage, too, while pouring cash into the hands of those who already had the lion's share.
By the reckoning of Citizens for Tax Justice, the cost of that massive upward transfer of wealth was $2.48 trillion by the end of 2010. And, of course, still climbing since the cuts remain in place as a consequence of a Faustian bargain made last December.
Using a tool provided by the National Priorities Project, Jilani came up with 10 alternatives that could have been paid for with the money those harmful tax cuts made unavailable:
- Give 122.7 Million Children Low-Income Health Care Every Year For Ten Years
- Give 49.2 Million People Access To Low-Income Healthcare Every Year For Ten Years
- Provide 43.1 Million Students With Pell Grants Worth $5,500 Every Year For Ten Years
- Provide 31.5 Million Head Start Slots For Children Every Year For Ten Years
- Provide VA Care For 30.7 Million Military Veterans Every Year For Ten Years
- Provide 30.4 Million Scholarships For University Students Every Year For Ten Years
- Hire 4.19 Million Firefighters Every Year For Ten Years
- Hire 3.67 Million Elementary School Teachers Every Year For Ten Years
- Hire 3.6 Million Police Officers Every Year For Ten Years
- Retrofit 144.6 Million Households For Wind Power Every Year For Ten Years
- Retrofit 54.2 Million Households For Solar Photovoltaic Energy Every Year For Ten Years
That $2.5 trillion would have gone a long way toward repairing America's crumbling infrastructure, too, providing vast numbers of jobs in the process, an investment in our future.
In place of funding any one of these alternatives, however, millionaires got to lower their taxes by more than twice what the median American household earns in total income every year.
So, what are we hearing on the anniversary of this plutocratic miracle? Calls for still more tax cuts that would further reduce progressivity and hand over another chunk of money to the "job creators" who have done so well at that task with the previous cuts they have obtained.
We can see for ourselves what the cuts plainly have not done. They have, however, done what their promoters wanted them to do. The never-will-be-satisfied, cut-taxes-for-the-wealthy crowd is absolutely determined that the path to prosperity for the few in America will be strewn with economic catastrophe for the many. It's not a bug; it's a feature.
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