Something Real to Run On: Bush’s Biggest Tax Cuts Went to Richest


Well, of course they did.
But the New York Times is the first to document the distributional impact of Bush’s tax cuts in a major article appearing in tomorrow’s paper.
David Cay Johnston writes that Bush’s tax cuts “significantly lowered the tax burden on the richest Americans, reducing taxes on incomes of more than $10 million by $500,000 on average.”
The New York Timesanalysis of IRS data found:

“Among taxpayers with incomes greater than $10 million, the amount by which their investment tax bill was reduced averaged about $500,000 in 2003, and total tax savings, which included the two Bush tax cuts on compensation, nearly doubled to slightly more than $1 million.
These taxpayers, whose average income was $26 million, paid about the same share of their income in income taxes as those making $200,000 to $500,000 because of the lowered rates on investment income.
Americans with annual incomes of $1 million or more, about one-tenth of 1 percent of all taxpayers, reaped 43 percent of all the savings on investment taxes in 2003. The savings for these taxpayers averaged about $41,400 each. By comparison, these same Americans received less than 10 percent of the savings from the other Bush tax cuts, which applied primarily to wages, though that share is expected to grow in coming years.”

Charlie Rangel gets it and had the best quote in the Johnston piece:

Rep. Charles B. Rangel of New York, the senior Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, said after seeing the new figures that “these tax cuts are beyond irresponsible” when “we’re in a war, we haven’t fixed Social Security or Medicare, we’ve got record deficits.”

For a moment, let’s take the President at his word on this war against terrorism. It’s an expensive war, so far running a bit more than $12,000 per Iraq citizen in a country where per capita income is about $1,500.
Who is sacrificing? Not those with the financial means. That’s for sure.
George Bush thought he could win the Iraq War on the cheap — but it’s costing our future.
On Monday, New York Times economics columnist Louis Uchitelle will be at the New America Foundation in a session I am chairing from noon until 2 p.m. with commentary from Sherle Schwenninger. Uchitelle will be talking about his new book, The Disposable American: Layoffs and Their Consequences.
I’m sure that this important NY Times study will be a major part of our discussion. To attend, zap me an email. Digital video will be posted the day after the event.

— Steve Clemons