George W. Bush has crisscrossed the country touting his top political
priority--a giant tax cut. While consistently exaggerating the benefit to the
middle class, he has unfailingly neglected to mention that he would give the
wealthiest 1 percent of families 43 percent of the tax cuts. The tax break for
the top 1 percent amounts to $774 billion over 10 years. Here is a look at what
else the country could do with that whopping lump of cash over the next decade
(mostly based on year 2000 expenditures). Shop for yourself.
New Teachers. Pay almost two million teachers' salaries for 10 years.
Student Aid. Increase the federal Pell Grant budget 88-fold or multiply
federal student loans 18 times.
Class-Size Reductions. Multiply federal
spending for smaller classes in the nation's schools 193 times.
Fund 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).
Crumbling Schools. Multiply federal contributions to school renovation by a
factor of 59 (compared with the estimated expenditure for 2001).
Police Officers. Pay two million police officers' salaries for 10 years.
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 National
Cancer Institute 234-fold.
Prescription Drugs. Fully fund a comprehensive
Medicare prescription drug benefit for senior citizens (see "Bush's
Prescriptions" on facing page).
Family Support. Nearly quadruple the
federal outlays for welfare, child care, and child support enforcement.
Housing Assistance. More than quadruple federal housing assistance.
Domestic Food Aid. Multiply spending on the supplemental food program
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) 19 times or almost quadruple the federal Food
International Food Aid. Increase food assistance to foreign
Transportation Spending. Double the amount that
Washington spends to support mass transit, highways, and aviation.
Resources and the Environment. Triple the total expenditures on natural
resources, pollution control, and Superfund cleanup.
Quadruple what the nation pays to stabilize farm income.
Credits. Triple-fund the Earned Income Tax Credit for the working poor and the
child tax credit.
Middle-Class Tax Cuts. More than double Bush's tax cut
for the bottom 80 percent of Americans.