By: Nomi Prins
Had enough of 'conservative' rip-off artists in Washington? Here's a list of the worst offenses we've seen since 2001.
1) The Bush administration has created the biggest budget deficit, debt, and trade imbalance ever while cutting funding for domestic needs like education, Medicare, and Medicaid.
2) The administration’s tax cuts favor the rich, no matter how you look at it. About 87 percent of tax benefits go to the 14 percent of households with incomes above $100,000. Households with incomes below $75,000 -- three-quarters of all households -- get just 5 percent of those benefits.
3) Bush signed the largest corporate tax break package in two decades, $136 billion. After World War II, corporations paid half the cost of running the federal government. Today, they pay 7%.
4) The price of gas doubled under Bush. The top oil companies earned $25 billion during the quarter that Hurricane Katrina struck compared to $50 billion for all of 2004. Former Exxon-Mobil, CEO, Lee Raymond got a $400 million exit package.
5) The Republican Congress has voted against every minimum wage increase, except the one linked to getting rid of the estate tax for the rich. The real income of the average American household has fallen five years in a row.
6) House Republicans chopped education programs by $14.3 billion -- the highest cuts ever. College tuition has increased 34 percent since Bush took office.
7) Since 2001, average monthly health care premiums have risen from $342 to $603. Annual deductibles have doubled. Today 46 million Americans (including 8.4 million children) have no health insurance, an increase of 6 million since Bush took office.
8) The Senate approved the biggest bankruptcy law in a quarter of a century. Republicans voted AGAINST protecting senior citizens, the seriously ill, military members, veterans, and employees.
9) In 1983, the Greenspan Commission put Social Security measures in place that created a $1.7 trillion surplus in the system. This administration borrowed against and cut that to $153 billion while blaming citizens for not dying young enough.
10) In 2005, Americans paid $4.3 billion in withdrawal fees at ATM’s and $16 billion to credit card companies in late fees alone. Republicans have suggested no remedies.
Nomi Prins is a senior fellow at the public policy center Demos and author of Other People's Money and Jacked: How "Conservatives" are Picking your Pocket (Whether you voted for them or not).