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An estimated 28 corporations between 2001 and 2003 actually paid not a single penny in taxes, walking away with profits of almost $45 billion. The fiscal consequences of Bush’s tax cuts for the rich are alarming budget deficits that our children and grandchildren will have to pay. Back in 2000, the federal government had a projected surplus of $5.6 trillion over the next ten years. By contrast, this year’s budget deficit under Bush is a record $422 billion. This amount exceeds the previous record by $46 billion, recorded just last year.

The defeat of George W. Bush is a question of life and death. By any objective criteria, Bush’s economic record alone should have made it extremely difficult for him to run for reelection. He was the first president since the Great Depression of the 1930s to witness a net loss of jobs – about 1.8 million – during his administration.  
 Bush’s massive tax cut scheme did almost nothing to create meaningful employment, and transferred hundreds of billions of dollars to the wealthy and large corporations. Bush’s economic agenda from his first day in office as president was to reward the wealthy at our expense. And in this regard, he was remarkably successful. A new report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy documented a significant decline in corporate taxes during 2001-2003, with the effective federal tax rate declining from 21.4 percent to 17.2 percent. Most major corporations also established sophisticated tax shelters during the Bush years, permitting them to shield hundreds of billions in profits from the IRS.
 As a result, by 2004 U.S. corporations now report les than one half of their total profits. An estimated 28 corporations between 2001 and 2003 actually paid not a single penny in taxes, walking away with profits of almost $45 billion. The fiscal consequences of Bush’s tax cuts for the rich are alarming budget deficits that our children and grandchildren will have to pay. Back in 2000, the federal government had a projected surplus of $5.6 trillion over the next ten years. By contrast, this year’s budget deficit under Bush is a record $422 billion. This amount exceeds the previous record by $46 billion, recorded just last year.
 The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) now estimates a $2.3 trillion in additional debt over the coming decade. And that estimate may be far too low, especially if Bush has his way and extends the tax cuts he enacted. The CBO estimates that if that happens, the federal deficit for the next ten years could soar
to $3.6 trillion.  Those deficits will kick in at the same time that tens of millions of middle-aged Americans will be retiring. The CBO predicts that Social Security and Medicare combined, which today costs $789 billion annually, will cost about $1.5 trillion, nearly one-half of the total federal budget. There will
be virtually no federal money left for public housing, education, the environment, and essential social services. This is the economic disaster that re-electing Bush represents. 
 When this economic record is combined with recent events in Iraq – over one thousand US troops killed, 7,000 wounded with thousands of amputees, 27,00 total medically-related discharges, and thousands of innocent Iraqi deaths – the picture of a government out of control comes into focus.
Bush’s election strategy was simple: to make the election about John Kerry, not about his own record in office. He accomplished this first by denigrating Kerry’s Vietnam war record, through the smear advertisements of the so-called “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.�
 Next, Kerry’s unfortunate vote giving Bush authorization to employ military force in Iraq, and his subsequent criticisms gave credence  to Bush’s relentless charge that the Massachusetts Democrat had “flip-flopped.â€? Vice President Cheney and other senior Republicans then implied that a vote for Kerry was actually an endorsement of terrorism: vote Bush or die. By late September a Times/CBS poll found that 60 percent of Americans believed “Kerry is
hiding something or mostly lying about Vietnam.� Two out of three Americans also believed that Bush’s reelection would protect them better from future terrorist attacks than a Kerry victory.
 We should have no illusions about John Kerry. He’s essentially a centrist Democrat, who if elected will pursue interventionist policies abroad and a domestic agenda not unlike that of Clinton. He’s not what we deserve, but he’s now the only thing we have to halt the Bush regime from committing even greater crimes against humanity. Even if the Iraq War did not exist, just on economic grounds alone, a case could be made that Bush’s victory will directly contribute to the deaths of many thousands of Americans – the unemployed, the 45 million now without health insurance, and the thousands who are not slated for eviction from Section 8 housing.

 

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