The Bush tax cuts, which were supposed to help lead to a more prosperous economy, have actually cost Americans as much as $6.6 trillion in personal income. An amount that could easily pay for every car loan, student loan, and all credit card debt in the United States.

The information comes from a column on Al Jazeera America Wednesday. According to the author, David Cay Johnston, after adjusting for inflation and comparing average income with that of 2000, he found a $6.6 trillion disparity.

“Consider what $48,000 of additional income over those 12 years would have meant to you,” he wrote. “It is the equivalent of $11 appearing in your wallet every morning from the start of 2001 through the end of 2012.”

“Had that $6.6 trillion shortfall been realized as income, it would have been enough to pay off all the student loans in the United States ($1.26 trillion), all the automobile loans ($892 billion) and all the credit card debt ($827 billion). After paying all that debt off and taking taxes into account, American still would have more than $2.4 trillion left in their pockets and bank accounts.”

Johnston went on to point out that Bush sold the tax cuts as ensuring the future prosperity of America.

“In a December 1999, speech to Iowa voters, the future President Bush vowed, if elected, to put into law a ‘tax cut designed to sustain our nation’s prosperity – and reflect our nations decency … The entrepreneurs of America create jobs, take risks and make their profits with honor. My tax cut plan will expand their ranks by encouraging American enterprise … Low tax rates are a powerful economic tool to promote a higher standard of living for all Americans.”

Well, now we see how that worked out. Are we going to change course or just continue with the same failed policies?

Joshua is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. You can follow him on Twitter @Joshual33.