Pyramid of Capitalist System, issued by Nedeljkovich, Brashick and Kuharich,
Cleveland: The International Publishing Co., 1911.

Bush cuts taxes for the wealthy, and cuts vital spending for the rest of Americans. Most of the support for eliminating the estate tax comes from just 18 families. Matt Taibbi gives us the numbers. Bush proposes a complete elimination of the estate tax in his budget. It would benefit the following people, among others. These benefits, shown in red, are compared to the cuts Bush and the 18 families propose for the rest of Americans, shown in blue.

Bush tax cuts
Bush budget CUTS

$32.7 billion gift in tax cuts to the Wal-Mart family

$28 billion to be CUT from Medicaid.

$11.7 billion tax cut gift to the heirs to the Mars candy corporation
$3.4 billion to be CUT from Veterans Administration benefits (supporting the troops?)

$9.7 billion tax cut gift to the Cox family (Cox cable TV)
$1.5 billion in CUTS for education

$826.5 million tax cut gift to the Nordstrom family
$630 million CUT – Community Service Block Grants would be eliminated

$468.4 million tax cut gift to the Ernest Gallo family
$420 million CUT from LIHEAP (heating oil to poor)

$164 million tax cut gift to the family of former Exxon/Mobil CEO Lee Raymond
$108 million CUT over ten years to COMPLETELY ELIMINATE the Commodity Supplemental Food Program. The program sent one bag of groceries per month to 480,000 seniors, mothers and newborn children.

As Taibbi says:

That’s not only bad government, it’s bad capitalism. It makes legalized bribery and political connections more important factors than performance and competition in the corporate marketplace.

In the words of Bishop Spong:

Capitalism . . . has within it the seeds of its own destruction if it allows more and more of the available wealth to be confined into the hands of fewer and fewer of the people. This was the capitalism that Karl Marx felt would finally destroy itself. Capitalism, however, as lived out in the western world has been tempered by social legislation that taxes the wealthy to provide benefits for the poor and middle classes. Capitalism courts revolution when it allows the wealthy to get too wealthy and the poor to get too poor.

Unfortunately, I noted, the recent history of the United States has moved in exactly that direction. During the eight years of the Bill Clinton presidency, which was a major portion of the decade of the 90’s, more wealth was produced for Americans than in any other decade in our national history. Indeed, it expanded the wealth of America to twice what had been produced in the entire history of an independent America. It also widened the gap between the rich and the poor to levels never before seen. That gap has widened even more under the presidency of George Bush and today rests at what I regard as dangerous levels. Every economic program of the Bush administration has been designed to enhance the wealth of the wealthy and, in fact, has exacerbated the poverty of the poor. So we have an economic policy that allows CEOs to be paid hundreds of millions of dollars, made up of salary and stock options, while refusing to provide health care for more than 40 million citizens and allowing our public schools to be significantly under funded.
John Shelby Spong, Q&A Newsletter, Feb 21,2007