Interesting Budget Analysis
How's that for a post title? Reasonably Ascertainable Reality -- sponsoring naps everywhere!
Check out this article by Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone regarding some interesting 2008 Bush Administration budget analysis done by the office of Congressmen Bernie Sanders.
Sanders's office came up with some interesting numbers here. If the Estate Tax were to be repealed completely, the estimated savings to just one family -- the Walton family, the heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune -- would be about $32.7 billion dollars over the next ten years.
The proposed reductions to Medicaid over the same time frame? $28 billion.
Some other notable estimate estate tax breaks, versus corresponding cuts:
- Cox family (Cox cable TV) receives $9.7 billion tax break while education would get $1.5 billion in cuts
- Nordstrom family (Nordstrom dept. stores) receives $826.5 million tax break while Community Service Block Grants would be eliminated, a $630 million cut
- Ernest Gallo family (shitty wines) receives a $468.4 million cut while LIHEAP (heating oil to poor) would get a $420 million cut
And so on and so on. Sanders additionally pointed out that the family of former Exxon/Mobil CEO Lee Raymond, who received a $400 million retirement package, would receive about $164 million in tax breaks. Compare that to the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, which Bush proposes be completely eliminated, at a savings of $108 million over ten years. The program sent one bag of groceries per month to 480,000 seniors, mothers and newborn children.Listen, I can understand arguments regarding capitalistic tendancies and "making and keeping" your own money. But budget development is a series of choices. Choices regarding the good of the country and society. ALL OF SOCIETY. Is repealing the estate tax, which affects approximately the top 2/10ths of the top 1% of the people in this country, really as important as cutting funding for Medicaid, which provided health care services to approximately 40 million people in 2002 -- 18.4 million of them children?