Friday, April 15, 2005

Deficits for me, but not for thee

One of today's New York Times editorials was written in support of the federal estate tax. One point made by the article in favor of preserving the estate tax is that:
The House proposal would cost the federal government a whopping $290 billion through 2015, according to estimates by Congress's own budget agency. And that's just the start; the costs after that would be explosive.
On the other hand, one of yesterday's New York Times editorials comments about the foreign aid stinginess of the United States:
Britain announced long ago that it would meet the 0.7 percent target by 2013. France is more than halfway there, at 0.41, and has announced a timetable to get to 0.5 percent by 2007 and 0.7 percent by 2012. From America - the stingiest of all, compared with the rest of the G-7, donating just 0.18 percent of its gross national product to foreign aid - there has not been a word about getting to 0.7 percent by any date in this century.
Now, the 2004 GNP of the United States is approximately $10.75 trillion. Assuming that the figure is fixed for the years 2005-2015, 0.18% of $10.75 trillion per year over 10 years is $193.5 billion while 0.7% of that amount per year over 10 years is $752.5 billion.

Thus, the thursday editoral is willing to pay $559 billion for foreign aid over 10 years for something it endorses, but the friday editorial views $290 billion in tax relief over 10 years as way too expensive for something that it opposes.

By the way, according to this global issues site, the American people donated more than twice ($34 billion) the official United States aid ($15 billion) in 2003.

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