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Fiscal Policy: Fully Account for the Budget, Stick to the Budget, and Work with the Other Party

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Publication Date: April 2008

Publisher(s): Tax Policy Center

Author(s): Jason Furman

Special Collection: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Topic: Government (Public finance)

Keywords: Taxes, the Budget, and the Economy; 2001 Tax Cut; Budget Issues; General Tax Policy

Type: Report


The fiscal damage to the United States over the last seven years is calculable. It is precisely $3,889,136,064,463, according to the Bush administration's Office of Management and Budget, which totaled up the budgetary cost to date of all the tax cuts and spending increases enacted over the past seven years. Of that nearly $4 trillion total, the administration estimates that 46 percent is tax cuts, 31 percent is defense and homeland-security spending, and 23 percent is everything else, including the prescription-drug benefit. This piece first appeared in Slate on April 4, 2008 as part of a 10-part series titled "Fixing It."