President Bush’s State of the Union Address last week dealt with many pressing topics: AIDS, healthcare, energy policy, and, of course, Iraq.
Bush presented a grandiose plan that dangled tax cuts in front of the eyes of working families.
He said that the government should “send the checks now”for an increase in child tax credits.
He failed to mention that there would be no actual checks, just less money deducted from paychecks.
The real winners will be the top one percent of the tax bracket, who will reap almost all of the benefits of Bush’s proposed repeal of the stock dividend tax.
Bush went on to say that his tax cuts would actually result in more money for the federal government.
You see, the theory goes that tax cuts result in increased consumer spending and investment, which creates jobs, which creates more taxpayers.
In practice, this doesn’t work.
Reagan tried it already, and the ’80s saw some of the worst unemployment figures since the Great Depression.
The trillion dollars in tax savings that Bush forecasts could be put to much better use.
For instance, Bush spoke with almost a tear in his eye about the 30 million Africans infected with AIDS; only 50,000 receive life-extending drugs that cost only $300 a year per person.
He then proposed spending of $3 billion a year to treat only 2 million people.
According to his figures, it would cost only $9 billion a year to treat all of the infected AIDS patients.
If you throw in few extra billion for contraceptive education and other preventative methods, we would be a lot closer to achieving equity in AIDS policy.
Domestically, $1 trillion could be put towards establishing a national health care system.
The United States is the world’s only industrialized nation that does not guarantee all of its citizens access to basic health care.
Bush said that the country’s health care needs could not be met by a nationalized system that “dictates coverage and rations care.”
With the money that is being wasted on tax cuts, rationing would hardly be necessary.
None of this matters anyway, not with the $200 billion price tag that comes with the looming war in Iraq.
Even with the extra $100 billion a year that the tax cuts will cost, the extra defense spending will drain the federal budget.
Doesn’t anyone in Washington have the courage to ask how the war money could be better spent?
As I said, AIDS treatment and universal healthcare are worthy of receiving additional money.
Or, we could spend it on something really crazy like supporting the mission of the United Nations.
So, Bush’s plan to increase tax revenue is to massively increase military spending, massively cut taxes, and watch the money roll into the government’s coffers.
His plan to save the free world is to bomb Iraq (no nukes) and coddle North Korea (which has admitted to having nukes).
Is it just me, or is our fearless leader living in a world where reality has no meaning?
Brian White can be reached at Zapata@temple.edu.