THE BLOG

Death and Taxes

05/19/2006 11:03 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Let's do the numbers.

Bush just gave away $70 billion in tax break extensions to the super-rich. Rumsfeld just asked Congress to approve an additional nearly $70 billion defense appropriation to pay for the war, long gone wrong, in Iraq.

Since 2001, Bush's war on taxes (that is, his offensive against taxes on the wealthy) has cost the federal government $929 billion. Since 2001, Bush has increased the defense budget 50 percent to $493 billion.

The US deficit has ballooned to $8.4 trillion. The centerpiece of Bush's original domestic agenda, the one he based his first campaign on, was an overall tax cut of $1.35 trillion.

In 2005, we -- American taxpayers -- spent $352 billion on interest payments on this national debt. In 2005, the number of American children without health insurance reached 8.2 million.

The average American taxpayer will make a whopping annual $20 off of the Republicans' latest round of tax cuts. Bush's approval rating has plummeted into the 20s.

Millionaires will reap $43,000 a year from the tax cuts. But Americans with millions are only a few percentage points of the national population.

None of this math adds up. But the correlation between the GOP's attempt to resuscitate its popularity -- even among its traditional base of supporters which is backing away from the President according to the latest opinion polls -- with tax breaks that are breaking the backs of average, working people is the most nonsensical equation of all.

Bush is losing ground on support for the Iraq War, his handling of the economy, his ability to protect us from terrorism and to respect our privacy. Good, old fashioned tax cuts -- especially those that stick around for another the rest of his term in office, while the country sinks deeper and deeper into debt -- just aren't going to cut it come election time.

But until Bush, Rove and Rumsfeld are out of office and new leadership comes in, nothing in this country will add up.

2008 is a long way away, especially in light of one of the most devastating numbers of all: 2,450 US soldiers have died in vain, in a needless war that was designed, like the tax cuts, to rally support for Bush in the first place.

If you're rich under this Administration, you can in fact avoid death -- and taxes.