Comparison Shopping:

Today, George W. Bush is traveling around the country touting his top
priority -- a giant tax cut. But he exaggerates the benefit to the
middle class, while neglecting to mention that he would give the top 1
percent of families 43 percent of the tax cuts. The tax cut for the
wealthiest 1 percent amounts to $774 billion over 10 years.
The American Prospect investigates what else the country could
buy with that lump of cash (based on year 2000 expenditures) over the
next decade. Shop for yourself.

The money that Bush would spend on the top 1 percent could fund the
following:

Schools and Colleges

  • New Teachers. Pay almost two million href="http://stats.bls.gov/oco/ocos069.htm">teachers' salaries for
    10 years.

  • Student Aid. Increase the federal Pell Grant budget 88-fold or
    multiply federal student loans 18 times.

  • Class Size Reduction. Multiply federal funding for class size
    reduction 193 times.

  • Preschool. Pay for preschool for all of the nation's
    four-year-olds almost eight times over (based on a cost estimate by the
    Brookings Institution's Isabel
    Sawhill).

  • Rebuild Crumbling Schools. Multiply federal spending on school
    renovation by 59 times (compared to the estimate for 2001).

    Public Safety

  • Police Officers. Pay two million href="http://stats.bls.gov/oco/ocos160.htm">police officers'
    salaries for 10 years.

    Health Care

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services. Multiply federal
    spending on substance abuse and mental health services 29 times.

  • National Health Research. Quadruple the National Institutes of
    Health's budget or increase funding for the href="http://www.nci.nih.gov/admin/fmb/2000Funding.htm">National Cancer
    Institute 234-fold.

  • Prescription Drugs. Fully fund a comprehensive Medicare
    prescription drug
    benefit
    for senior citizens -- with $36 billion left over.

    Family Support and Nutrition

  • Middle Class Tax Cuts. More than double Bush's tax cut for the
    bottom 80 percent of Americans.

  • Family Tax Credits. Triple href="http://www.cbo.gov">funding for the Earned Income Tax Credit
    for the working poor and the child tax credit put together.

  • Family Support. Almost quadruple href="http://www.cbo.gov">federal spending on welfare, child care,
    and child support enforcement.

  • Housing Assistance. More than quadruple federal housing
    assistance.

  • Food Aid. Multiply spending on the supplemental food program
    WIC 19 times or almost quadruple the federal food stamps budget.

  • International Food Aid. Increase international food aid
    97-fold.

    Transportation

  • Transportation Spending. Double federal spending on
    mass transit, highways, and aviation.

    Natural Resources

  • Natural Resources and the Environment. Triple the total
    expenditures on natural resources, pollution control, and Superfund
    cleanup.

  • Farm Support. Quadruple federal expenditures on farm income
    stabilization.

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