10 years sounds like a long time to some people but then again, it’s a short period of time in which a lot can happen. Ten years ago this day, I have no idea what I was doing; but I know exactly what President George W. Bush did he passed his signature tax cuts. It was this day in history that our former President took a budget surplus and initiated the massive debt we are experiencing today.
A budget surplus is when the government’s income exceeds spending. If your phone bill and rent is $700.00 but you have $900.00 in income, then you are operating at a surplus. On June 7, 2001, President Bush decided to sign into law, tax cuts that would later cause a heap of debt that the country is currently dealing with. The rationale behind the tax cuts was to get rid of this surplus and cut taxes for those in the higher tax bracket. Between 2001 and 2010, those tax cuts added $2.6 trillion to the public debt and since then we have spent over $400 billion because of this debt.
So who benefited from this? Citizens making over $3million a year received an average tax cut of $520,000. To make the situation worst these citizens receiving this tax cut did little to create jobs in the economy. Employment increased less than 1 percent between 2002 and 2007. This high level of unemployment has also created a downward pressure on wages (the amount employers pay), greatly affecting many employees standard of living. On April 16, 2001, Bush said, “Tax relief will create new jobs, tax relief will generate new wealth, and tax relief will open new opportunities.” Now 10 years later, we have experienced the worst economic expansion since World War II. We have yet to receive any of these promised gains; instead, we are watching the doors to schools close, the cost of tuition rise, and the suffering of programs such as Head Start. I guess a lot can happen in 10 years.