Tax Cut 2001

Bush's Fiscal Insanity: 'It's Like Bush Took Out $1000 in Your Name, and Gave You Back $250'
Tax Cut 2001

Citizens for Tax Justice director Bob McIntyre: "Most people know that Bush's tax cuts are heavily tilted towards corporations and the very rich. But many think, hey, at least we got something. If that's your view, you should think again. What Resident Bush has done is a lot like him going to the bank and borrowing $1,000 in your name, but then giving you only $250... Over the first six years of his policies, Bush will add $3.8 trillion to the national debt - a debt that all of us are responsible for paying back, with interest. Middle-income families' share of the added debt burden will average $24,859 each. That dwarfs the $632 a year in tax cuts that they will receive. In fact, the added debt burden on middle-income families is 6.6x bigger than their tax cuts. By the way, after the first six years, things will get even worse. A new report from the Congressional Budget Office indicates that we're on track to triple the national debt, including what we owe Social Security, by 2013."

Bush Lie Number 1; The Tax Cut Lie
Tax Cut 2001

Rob Kall writes: "Bush is a flat out liar. Borrowing from his father's lie, 'read my lips, no new taxes' you can, at any time, read George W's lips and he's probably lying. The biggest lie is that he cut taxes. And a big joke is that it will hit the rich people who are supposed to be benefiting from it too. While it is a partial truth that the tax cuts allowed the wealthy to keep more money, the truth is that there are a lot of ways they and the rest of us are paying more money than before. It's a tax cut that will actually end up costing most of much more. Perhaps one of the biggest categories is education. States are being creamed by the budget shortfalls and they are making up for it by raising local school and real estate taxes."

Republican-Controlled House Votes to Permanently Repeal Estate Taxes
Tax Cut 2001

AP reports: "The House voted Wednesday to eliminate estate taxes by the end of the decade, keeping the Republicans' tax cut efforts at the top of the congressional agenda... Democrats countered with an alternative that would prevent 99 percent of estates from being taxed. It would allow an exemption worth $3 million for an individual and $6 million for a married couple. The House voted 239-188 to reject the Democratic alternative, which was designed to continue taxing the wealthiest estates." Despite Republican propaganda, most, if not all, of those estates are not "double-taxed" -- they dodged taxes the first time around through loopholes and tax shelters. "Democrats said the Republican bill would deepen deficits already projected to hit a record $400 billion this year. 'My Republican friends may think they're burying the estate tax today, but they're actually burying our children under a mountain of debt,' said Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md."

Another Hypocritical Economist Joins Bush's Team
Tax Cut 2001

"In nominating a respected Harvard economist as one of his top advisers, Bush has now replaced nearly everyone from his original economic team with people who at one time spoke out against the kinds of policies Mr. Bush is prescribing. N. Gregory Mankiw, whom Mr. Bush nominated on Wednesday to lead his Council of Economic Advisers, wrote a popular economics textbook in which he ridiculed the supply-side tax cuts of President Ronald Reagan as 'fad economics" conceived by "charlatans and cranks.'"

From Class Tax to Mass Tax: Bush's Tax Cut Will Force 85% of Taxpayers Onto Alternative Minimum Tax
Tax Cut 2001

NY Times reports: "Nearly all middle- and upper-middle-class families will lose some of the income tax cuts scheduled over the next eight years as they are forced to pay a separate tax originally intended to make sure that the rich cannot live tax-free... By the end of the decade, when the tax cuts pushed into law by the Bush administration in 2001 become fully effective, 85% of taxpayers with two or more children will be forced off the regular income tax and onto a separate system known as the alternative minimum tax.... Just three years ago fewer than one million taxpayers, most at the upper reaches of the income spectrum, were subject to the complex separate tax. But if nothing is changed, by 2010 about 36 million taxpayers will face it.... Limiting (the tax) to the old target could be financed, they said, by freezing the 2001 Bush tax cuts, for both income and estates, at their current levels."

Bubble Bursts for Another Tax Cut for the Rich - At Least for This Year
Tax Cut 2001

NYTimes.com reports: "Republican leaders in the House have decided against pushing for a new round of tax cuts to help investors, effectively killing for this year a proposal floated last month... The decision appeared to have been made in consultation with the White House, which had signaled in recent days that Mr. Bush was no longer intent on following through on the proposal. Mr. Bush said last month that he was developing plans to address the weak stock market and help investors through measures that might include cutting taxes on dividends, increasing the deductibility of capital losses and allowing workers to contribute more money to their 401(k) retirement plans... Democrats are hopeful that the debate over the bill will give them an opportunity to focus public attention on the weak economy, the fall in the stock market and the corporate scandals of the last year, all of which they are counting on to help them on Election Day."

Republican Tax Cut Fraud
Tax Cut 2001

"A tax cut for everyone across the board, fair and square. It sounds terrific, doesn't it? That's why the Republicans are so cocky and the Democrats keep their mouth shut. All politicians are afraid to stand up against the 'tax cut' in fear of loosing their seats. It seems that the majority of Americans like the idea of a tax cut without giving it another thought. Yet, there is a secret behind the Republican 'tax cut', which had never been spelled out to the people.... About 80% of Republican tax cut money are going into the pockets of less then 5% of the wealthiest individuals; and only about 20% - to the rest of the working Americans." So writes Stan Newton

Bush's Entire Life Has Been Devoted To Class Warfare
Tax Cut 2001

Molly Ivins writes "Some days, you have to believe right-wing ideologues have lost touch with reality completely. Their latest proposal to prevent future Enrons is--ta-da!--cut the capital-gains tax. [Enrons] are not the consequence of a few greedy executives cutting corners--they are the result of a series of deregulatory measures and other changes in the law that set up the opportunity for theft on a staggering scale, making it not only possible but inevitable... If Bush has his way, we are going to fight an unprovoked war with Iraq without the financial aid of any allies. The health-care system is falling apart in front of our eyes, school teachers should be paid at least twice what they make now, lack of low-income housing is making life hell for the working class and now the right wing wants to cut taxes for the rich yet again? That's class warfare."

Repeal Bush's Welfare for the Rich Tax Cuts -- And Spend the Money on Working Americans
Tax Cut 2001

Robert Kuttner writes "Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, recently profiled in these pages, committed a brave political act the other day. He called for repeal of George W Bush's $1.35 trillion tax cut. What makes the act so brave is not that repealing the tax cut is an outlandish idea, or even that it is unpopular. What makes Dean's call courageous is that very few other leading Democrats have taken this stand... If we repealed the tax cuts that go to just the top 1 percent after 2005 and spent the money on public services -- from remedial education to health insurance -- the result would be distributively fairer and make for a more sensible anti-recession policy. And there would be a lot of grateful voters. George W Bush and his economy keep handing the Democrats political opportunities. This issue of the Prospect asks: Is anybody home?"

Bush Tax Cut Gives Average Americans $342 While Richest 1% Get $342,000
Tax Cut 2001

An analysis of the Bush tax cut released jointly by Citizens for Tax Justice and the Children's Defense Fund found that while the wealthiest Americans "have already received a hefty down payment on their Bush tax cuts - averaging just under $12,000 each this year - 80% of their windfall is scheduled to come from tax changes that won't take effect until after this year, mostly...phase in after 2005." For the vast majority of Americans, 3/4's of the Bush tax cuts - averaging about $350 this year - are already in place... From 2001 through 2010, "the richest Americans - the best-off 1% - are slated to receive tax cuts totaling almost half a trillion dollars. The $477 billion in tax breaks the Bush administration has targeted to this elite group will average $342,000 each over the decade." The clincher: "By 2010, when (and if) the Bush tax reductions are fully in place, an astonishing 52% of the total tax cuts will go to the richest 1%, whose average 2010 income will be $1.5 million."

Repeal the Bush Tax Cut!
Tax Cut 2001

A study by the Brookings Institution, "The Bush Tax Cut: One Year Later", urges Congress to reconsider Bush's giveaway to the wealthy, which the authors say "will reduce the size of the future economy, raise interest rates, make taxes more regressive, increase tax complexity, and prove fiscally unsustainable... These findings show that tax cuts are not simply a matter of returning unneeded or unused funds to taxpayers, but rather a choice to require other, future taxpayers to cover the long-term deficit, which the tax cut significantly exacerbates." Repeal the tax cut NOW!

Even Bill Gates (Sr.) Says Don't Repeal the Estate Tax!
Tax Cut 2001

The Repugnicants in the House are up to their old unpatriotic tricks again - voting to permanently repeal the estate tax to help their richest buddies, while expecting the rest of us to sacrifice for their benefit. This is all done under the deceitful guise of helping out the family farm. Bushit! As Bill Gates, father of the richest man in the world, says, "the vast majority of family farmers will never owe an estate tax. Rather, the windfall of estate tax repeal will shower upon the heirs and heiresses of the 3,000 wealthiest estates. [If the Senate follows suit and passes the repeal], the country stands to lose $800 billion between 2011 and 2021. It's a loss that will significantly undercut Social Security and Medicare over the next seven decades, hitting hard as the eldest baby boomers reach retirement age." Urge your Senators keep the estate tax!

Bu$h's Tax Cut Costs You More - A LOT more!
Tax Cut 2001

You made it through another tax year, and now you know that your "tax rebate" was a gimmick. What other surprises are in store for us? We know that $4 Trillion of the CBO projected surplus has disappeared, with tax cuts accounting for 41% percent of this reduction, and increased spending accounts for 19%. Almost 80% of the total surplus comes in the last 5 years, with almost half of the total coming in the last 2 years, 2011 & 2012. Last year, the CBO projected a 10-year non-Social Security surplus of $3.1 Trillion. Just one year later under Bu$h's (mis)management, the projection has plunged to a deficit of $742 Billion. Publicly held debt will stay very high, so a higher portion of the federal budget will be devoted to interest costs, costing $1 Trillion more. That means that the projection of publicly held debt as a percentage of the economy rises from just over 4% to almost 12%! Remember Bu$h's mantra of "I want to return your money to you?" He lied!

Did Bush et al Manufacture the Recession to Justify His Tax Cuts for the Wealthy?
Tax Cut 2001

Remember how, even before he assumed his illegitimate position at the White House, Bush was ringing alarm bells about the economy sliding into recession? And isn't it convenient that, now that Bush has passed his tax cuts for his rich buddies and plunged the budget into record deficits, everyone's claiming that the recession is officially over? In an op-ed in the L.A. Times, Maya MacGuineas exposes Bush's "dirty little secret": there WAS no recession after all. But making us think there was sure did give Bush a good excuse for doling out corporate welfare and raiding the social security surplus, didn't it?

Dems Will Win in November if They Make Line 47 a Campaign Issue
Tax Cut 2001

When taxpayers discover Line 47, the GOP is in deep doodoo. Paul Krugman writes: "Here's the story. The Bush administration didn't want to give those famous $300 rebate checks; its original plan would have pumped hardly any money into the economy last year. Under prodding from Democrats the plan was changed to incorporate immediate cash outlays. But those outlays were included only grudgingly, and with a catch: they really weren't rebates. Instead, they were merely advances on future tax cuts. What that means is that most taxpayers, when they reach line 47 of their 1040's, will discover that they owe $300 more in taxes than they expected. In other words, the one piece of the Bush tax cut that probably did help the economy last year is about to be snatched away. The direct monetary impact will be significant; the psychological impact, as taxpayers realize that they've been misled, may be even greater." And the political impact will be huge, if Dems make an issue of Line 47.

Bitter over Campaign Finance Defeat, House Republicans Resort to Mafia Tactics to Get MORE Tax Cuts for the Rich
Tax Cut 2001

NY Times columnist Paul Krugman writes, "The hard men of the House leadership refuse to allow a clean vote on unemployment benefits. Instead they continue to insist that it's their way or no way: they won't allow a vote on benefits extension except as part of a bill that mainly consists of tax cuts for corporations and families in upper tax brackets... And they rammed that bill through last Thursday. Let's leave aside, for a moment, the economic merits of those tax cuts. What's really striking about this tactic is its sheer bloody-mindedness: the House leadership is willing to impose pain on some of the most vulnerable people in the country, desperate families whose breadwinners have been unable to find jobs, in order to push a divisive, partisan agenda... tax-cut advocates have moved from promises to threats. Support tax cuts for the elite, the House leadership says, or we'll cut off your unemployment benefits. So what's next? Support tax cuts or we'll break your legs?"

Republicans Scapegoat Daschle over the Failure of Bush's Enron Payback Plan
Tax Cut 2001

"Republicans sought to blame Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle for the collapse Wednesday of the economic stimulus bill...The two sides traded shots after the Senate failed to muster the 60 votes necessary to end debate on competing GOP and Democratic proposals...The Senate approved a straightforward 13-week extension of benefits for the unemployed, a measure that now goes to the House...Democrats contended the GOP was using the stimulus legislation as a vehicle for favorite tax cuts that had little to do with fighting recession. An example they gave is that Republicans sought a vote Tuesday on an amendment that would guarantee permanent repeal of the estate tax, which would have had no impact for almost a decade." In pushing for retroactive refunds of the Alternative Minimum Tax, Bush and the GOP sought to give back billions to huge corporations already sitting on massive reserves. Even worse, $240 million would have gone to the Enron money pit!

Growing Some Vertebrae, Democrats Are Rallying To Roll Back Bush's Tax Cuts For The Rich That Plunged Us Into Deficits
Tax Cut 2001

"One of the year's most divisive election issues, is likely to center on whether to increase taxes for the wealthy. Democrats have been talking for weeks about a tax freeze or increase for the richest taxpayers, and appear ready to discuss it seriously when Congress returns in January. 'The top 1 percent of taxpayers do not need a tax cut,' said Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, D-Conn. 'What we need is more help for working people,' added House Minority Whip David Bonior, D-Mich...[Tom Daschle] cited the latest federal budget estimates, which say deficits are likely this year and in the years ahead, and cited tax breaks for the wealthy as a key reason for the fresh red ink. The next move for the Democrats is an attempt to roll back the recent reduction in the top tax rate." Referring to the piggybanks of Bush's backers and cabinet members, Karl Rove whined that this "would stop whatever growth we have right in its tracks."

Tom Daschle Deserves Applause For Stopping The Bush-GOP Bogus 'Stimulus' Package
Tax Cut 2001

"The anthrax-filled letter addressed to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle gave him a strange kind of national visibility. A frustrated Bush administration is demonizing the South Dakota Democrat for sidetracking the president's domestic agenda. Such publicity you can't buy. The last half of the year has served Daschle well as he remains coy about his presidential ambitions. The influence that Daschle wields from his platform as majority leader makes him the top Democrat in the country… Since Sept. 11, Daschle has strongly supported President Bush's war against global terrorists while maintaining that the Senate Democrats have as much standing as the White House to speak out on economic issues. Daschle quashed the Bush stimulus package last week, though it likely will be resurrected in 2002. Proclaiming the stimulus 'dormant,' not dead, Daschle's critique was succinct: 'It's wrong on all counts.'"

The Thwarted Bush-GOP 'Stimulus' Package That Exploited 911 for Giveaways to Corporations and the Wealthy
Tax Cut 2001

"More than two months ago George W. Bush endorsed a 'stimulus' bill so tilted toward corporate interests that even conservatives were startled. This left only two ways a bill could pass the Senate: Either the Democratic leadership would collapse, or Mr. Bush would accept something that didn't look like a personal win. It didn't, and he wouldn't. The struggle really began less than 48 hours after the terrorist attack, when Bill Thomas, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, tried to ram through a sharp cut in the capital gains tax. Even opponents of capital gains tax generally acknowledge that cutting it does little to stimulate the economy in the short run; furthermore, 80 percent of the benefits go to the wealthiest 2 percent of taxpayers. So Mr. Thomas signaled, before the dust had settled, that he was determined to use terrorism as an excuse to pursue a radical right-wing agenda." So writes Paul Krugman.

GOP 'Stimulus Package' Backfiring As People Realize Bush and the GOP Are Exploiting The National Crisis To Give Billions To Corporations
Tax Cut 2001

"But in another way, Mr. Thomas's strategy has backfired. His bill's focus on business tax cuts — 70 percent of its benefits in the first year would go to companies — has proved a political windfall for Democrats. [It] casts Republicans as champions of corporate interests and the rich at a time when the country is arguably looking for selflessness...Every day that people read about a bill that would grant I.B.M a $1.4 billion tax rebate while turning aside Democratic calls for more assistance to laid-off workers is another chance to convince voters that Republicans in general and Mr. Bush in particular are no friends of the little guy...Democracy Corps, a liberal advocacy group headed by James Carville, Stanley B. Greenberg and Robert M. Shrum…surveyed voters recently about post- Sept. 11 economic policy...'After they accepted the proposition that this was actually happening, they were furious,' said Jim Gerstein, [DC's] executive director."

New Report from CTJ: 'Buy Now, Pay Later'
Tax Cut 2001

"The [Citizens for Tax Justice/Public Campaign] report examines 41 companies that contributed a total of $150 million to federal candidates and parties since 1991 while, between 1996 and 1998 alone, receiving $55 billion in special tax breaks. Several of these same companies are in line to be major beneficiaries if the AMT repeal in the recently passed House bill should become law...Industries benefiting from a special tax credit for research and experimentation (R&E) costs poured $148 million into political campaigns and parties from 1989 through June 2001. The pharmaceutical and computer industries are pushing hard to make the R&E tax credit permanent. One of their major champions, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), received more than half a million dollars from these industries between 1995 and 2000. Five days after Hatch offered an amendment in committee in July 1999 to make the credit permanent, he received a bundle totaling $10,000 from a who's-who list of top Pfizer executives."

Bush and Republicans Want To Repeal Reagan's Alternative Minimum Tax For Corporations
Tax Cut 2001

"Under the House economic stimulus bill passed last month, not only would the minimum tax be repealed, but major corporations also would receive billions of dollars in immediate refunds of minimum taxes paid since 1986 [when the AMT was instated by Reagan]. [Bush's] repeal plan would dole out the same refunds but space them out over several years. Citizens for Tax Justice...estimated that 16 Fortune 500 companies would receive more than $7 billion. IBM Corp., for example, would receive $1.4 billion, Ford Motor Co. would get $1 billion, and General Motors Corp. would end up with $833 million...Peter Orszag, a former economic aide to President Bill Clinton [said] the problem facing companies is lack of demand for their products, not a lack of cash...[He] also predicted that repeal might cost much more revenue than estimated because the minimum tax discourages companies from searching for [loopholes]."

Operation Enduring Avarice: Arianna Huffington calls economic stimulus package "grotesque"
Tax Cut 2001

Even Republicans are appalled -- the so-called economic stimulus package is an even more stunning corporate give-away than the action earlier this year. This time more than a quarter of the benefit goes to just 14 large, healthy business enterprises. The corporate payback is scandalous, and made all the worse by cynically trying to frame it as part of the nation's response to terrorism.

Democratic Senator Baucus Introduces Stimulus Package That Helps People, While House Passes GOP Bill That Favors The Powerful
Tax Cut 2001

"A top Senate Democrat on Tuesday proposed a $70-billion package of tax cuts and spending increases to stimulate the economy, the first detailed Senate Democratic proposal in an economic policy debate that so far has been dominated by Republican tax-cutting plans. The proposal, by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montana, includes one-year plans to increase spending by $35 billion in 2002, mostly to help unemployed workers, and $35 billion in temporary tax cuts for businesses and individuals... The House bill includes a cut in capital-gains taxes, repeal of the corporate alternative minimum tax and an acceleration of the income tax cuts that were approved earlier this year. Baucus includes none of those but provides an expansion of unemployment benefits and health insurance subsidies for the jobless...That's markedly different from the Republican-backed bill the House."

GOP 'Stimulus' Tax Bill Would Almost Double Bush Tax Cuts Over Next Three Years; Cuts Skewed Towards Those With Highest Incomes
Tax Cut 2001

From Citizens for Tax Justice: "The House Ways and Means Committee, on a party line vote, has approved a bill that over the next three years would almost double the size of the Bush tax cuts enacted last May. Officially, the new corporate and individual tax cuts are estimated to cost $212 billion over the next three fiscal years...Forty-one percent of the tax cuts would go the best-off one percent of all taxpayers...Almost three-quarters of the 2002 tax cuts would go to the best off tenth of all taxpayers. Only 7 percent of the tax cuts would go the bottom three-fifths of taxpayers..The largest corporate tax loophole under current law—accelerated depreciation—would be almost doubled, at an estimated cost of $109 billion over the next three years...The bill would permanently repeal the corporate alternative minimum tax that now discourages corporate tax sheltering and forces some otherwise low- and no-tax large, profitable corporations to pay at least something in taxes."

Movement to Repeal Bush Tax Cut Gains Momentum
Tax Cut 2001

Do we have to pay for the fight against terrorism by compromising the long term viability of our government's main health and retirement security programs? Economist Laura Tyson, now dean of the UC Berkeley Business School, argues that there is a much better alternative: repeal the massive Bush tax cut. "They were never justifiable on economic grounds," she writes. "Now they have become just another luxury item for the wealthy that a country at war can no longer afford."

Indianapolis Tax Hike to Save Child Welfare Just a Microcosm of What's To Come with Federal Budget
Tax Cut 2001

Over the past few years in Indianapolis, thanks to the repeated blocking of any tax increases by Republican legislators, the funding for the city's child welfare program had dwindled, first to a trickle, then right into the red. This week, to save the program and the disadvantaged children it aids, the city was forced to pass the biggest local tax increase of the budget season. This is just what is going to happen with Bush's budget. So Shrub can play the big shot for a year or two, passing out $300 bucks here and there, social programs will begin to dry up. But let's put this in perspective. The average taxpayer in Marion County, IN owns a $106,000 home. Their tax hike: a mere $25 per year. Just how much skin off anyone's teeth is this to aid someone who may have NO home?

Bush Lays Plans to Hand Wealthy Property Speculators Big Fat Chunk of Federal Budget
Tax Cut 2001

When most Americans buy a home, it marks the end of a long haul to realize that dream. Once realized, they aren't likely to turn around and sell it right away. On the other hand, big developers, super-wealthy folks with many homes scattered around the world, corporations wheeling and dealing in new holdings, etc., all speculate in property as if it were a high-stakes poker game. Now Bush wants to cut the capital gains tax and hand his monied friends yet another big present at the expense of the rest of us. While you and I may only cash in on a capital gains break once or twice in a lifetime, the wealthiest few percent would cash in on the break over and over again, while the tax-funded services the rest of us rely on - like social security - are bled dry.

Mass Tax Rebate Mailing a Green Light for Scam Artists Likely to Target Elederly
Tax Cut 2001

To make himself look good, Shrub has staged a mass mailing of taxpayer bribes (he calls them "rebates"). However, any such mass dispersal of money attracts scam artists like flies to poop. They are already in action, with the first reported scam (being worked in four states) a mail-in offer that charges $14.95 for a "payout determination." Of course, once the unwitting victim sends in their credit card info to pay for the service, they will lose more than $14.95, that's for sure. There are bound to be more scams, and probably tens of thousands of mailbox robberies. Guess who will probably be most victimized? As always, the elderly. Way to go, Shrub.

Enjoy Those $300-per-Head Bribes, Folks - We're Gonna Pay for Them Later, BIG TIME
Tax Cut 2001

"The Congressional Budget Office now estimates that President Bush's $1.35-billion tax cut, coupled with falling corporate tax revenue, has already wiped out three-quarters of the projected federal budget surplus through 2004. As the surplus disappears, Congress and the White House will have to either make politically painful cuts in domestic spending or dip into the funds reserved for Social Security and Medicare. The American people, if the polls were accurate, never bought into the president's tax-cut plan. They kept saying they would prefer to see the surplus used to pay down the national debt, finance a prescription drug program and protect Social Security and Medicare. But they never got that message through the heads of their elected representatives. So enjoy your tax rebate ($300 for single taxpayers, $600 for couples) this year. It's going to cost you more than you may realize." So writes Philip Gailey of the "St. Petersburg Times."

Thanks In Part To Blue Dog Democrats, Bush Has Won The War To Redistribute Bucks To the Wealthy
Tax Cut 2001

"But the Bushers, less than five months in power, won the war, even if battles will continue. What war? The one over the main matter of Washington: money. When Bush signed the tax-cut bill on Thursday, he could have declared total victory and flown off to Crawford to kick up his heels for the next three-and-a-half years. Heck, he could have resigned the presidency and let Dick Cheney have fun managing the mopping-up operations. With the passage of the tax legislation, Bush not only succeeded in handing hundreds of billions of dollars to America's wealthiest (37.6 percent of the tax cut goes to the top 1 percent), he defunded the federal government. Poof! There goes the entire surplus. No money for any major programs not already in existence. So, no money for prescription drug care for the elderly, no money for rebuilding schools, no money for redressing the growing gap between rich and poor, no money for a full-throttle alternative energy drive." So writes David Corn.

Alternative Minimum Tax Skews Effect of Tax Cut
Tax Cut 2001

"The benefits of the tax cut just signed into law by President [sic] Bush are front-loaded for lower-income Americans, back-loaded for the rich and wiped out entirely for some of the upper middle class -- thanks to the alternative minimum tax -- according to calculations by the Democratic staff of Congress's Joint Economic Committee...This timing means that for the first five years, the law is relatively more generous to lower-income taxpayers than it becomes later on. It also means that as tax rates on higher incomes are reduced, the likelihood increases that taxpayers will encounter the AMT. That effect doesn't apply, though, at the highest income brackets." This is precisely the Bushies' goal -- to dupe the less wealthy taxpayers with short-term cuts before the 2004 election. In the long run only the wealthy will benefit. For Bush's tax cuts to help the middle class the AMT would need to be rolled back – to the tune of another $200 billion added to their true cost of $2 trillion.

'This Is White Collar Crime!' NY Times' Paul Krugman Blasts Bush Tax Cutters For 'The Big Lie'
Tax Cut 2001

"Throughout the selling of this tax cut, its advocates have engaged in a disinformation campaign unprecedented in the history of U.S. economic policy — misrepresenting who would benefit from the plan (pretending that a tax cut mainly for the rich is actually aimed at the middle class) and understating its effects on revenue. Indeed, the pretense that taxes can be sharply cut without undermining the fiscal integrity of the nation has been maintained via financial fakery that, if practiced by the executives of any publicly traded company, would have landed them in jail...This is white-collar crime, pure and simple. We should call in the Securities and Exchange Commission, and send the whole crew — Democrats like Senator John Breaux and Senator Max Baucus as well as their Republican partners in crime [or what we call the Bush gang] — to a minimum-security installation somewhere unpleasant…But I underestimated the smirking contempt of the tax cutters for the public's intelligence."

Senate Cave-in on Tax Cut, Estate Tax Repeal Will Cost Charities Up to $20 Billion per Year
Tax Cut 2001

With the stroke of a pen, the Senate will wipe out hundreds of nonprofit groups within a few years and begin a era of "meaner and brutler." A study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers for the Independent Sector (a coalition of nonprofits, foundations, and corporations dedicated to philanthropy) predicts that by passing the tax cut and repealing the estate tax, the Senate will cost charities $1.5-$5 billion a year. Worse yet, the Senate's failure to include a tax deduction for contributions to all taxpayers, not just those who itemize deductions, will cost charities another $14.6 billion per year. This is an example of party first, people second. The Dems caved on these issues to insure Jeffords' defection (he agreed to stay in the GOP till the tax cut was passed). Elections will come and go, but the ground lost may be forever

Bush 'Tax Cut' Funds Earmarked for Oil Industry All Along
Tax Cut 2001

First, as a campaign promise, Bush pledged a tax cut that would give back money that "rightfully belongs to the public." As a new "president" [sic], he fought for weeks for a fat tax cut as a way "to pump up the economy." Now that his budget's approved, the truth is finally out - from Bush himself: the tax break (a whopping $5-10/wk for most of us working slobs) is aimed at "helping consumers pay high gas prices." In other words, our "tax break" was earmarked for the oil industry all along. Bush gives new meaning to the term "oily character," doesn't he?

De-Bunking The Myth That The Wealthy Are 'Double-Taxed' Under The Estate Tax
Tax Cut 2001

"Most of the accumulated wealth that is subject to the estate tax was never subject to the income tax. This is so obviously, overwhelmingly true that anyone with the slightest business or financial experience surely knows it. Even George W. Bush. Well, probably even Bush. Yet he keeps on repeating the lie." According to the current version of the Estate Tax repeal, "lawyers have already figured out various gimmicks to protect even more. Indeed, repeal of the estate tax will herald a new Golden Age of tricks for avoiding the income tax, complex but futile regulations to prevent this, and lawyers all around." Michael Kinsley uses the example of Bob Johnson -- chairman of BET, billionaire and a key proponent of the Estate Tax repeal -- to show how the wealthy dodge paying even a fraction of their fair share through the years. And now Bush and the GOP are fighting for the Rich to escape this last stopgap to pay their fair share.

De-Bunking The Myth Of Farmers Losing Their Farms From Estate Taxes -- And Other Myths
Tax Cut 2001

"Almost no working farmers [pay estate taxes], according to [IRS] data...Even one of the leading advocates for repeal of estate taxes…said it could not cite a single example of a farm lost because of estate taxes... in fact only the richest 2 percent of Americans [pay estate taxes]. That amounted to 49,870 Americans in 1999. And nearly half the estate tax is paid by the 3,000 or so people who each year leave taxable estates of more than $5 million...As the Riekenas were surprised to discover, avoiding the estate tax was easy. Their lawyer developed a simple plan that involved making gifts…and buying life insurance to offset any estate taxes that might be due if the parents died before most of the farm had been turned over to their daughters." Keep in mind that the wealthiest two-percent usually get great breaks along the way either through gaming the tax code and/or government subsidies. Note Seattle Times’ Blethen’s twisted logic that equates the estate tax with promoting corporatism.

Senate Passes $1.2 Trillion Tax Cut Versus Bush's $1.6 Trillion -- Still Gives Most To America's Wealthiest
Tax Cut 2001

"The Senate on Friday approved a budget outline for a $1.2 trillion 10-year tax cut, slashing 25 percent from President Bush plan and underscoring the trouble he faces pushing his agenda through the evenly divided chamber. After a week-long debate during which Republican leaders failed to muster the 51 votes needed to pass Bush's $1.6 trillion tax cut plan, the Senate voted 65-35 for a plan about $400 billion less than the president sought. An immediate $85 billion tax rebate this year, added to stimulate the slowing economy, puts the number near $1.3 trillion over 11 years. Fifteen Democrats joined all the Republicans to pass it…Republicans hope to restore much of the president's plan [in the House]. The House earlier approved a budget with the full $1.6 trillion tax cut…Democrats, elated by the setback they dealt Bush's top legislative priority, said Bush should have sought bipartisan support from the start since he promised to reach out to Democrats during his campaign."

GOP's Fuzzy Math Triumphant -- House Passes Bush's Graduated Estate Tax Repeal
Tax Cut 2001

"The U.S. House of Representatives approved on Wednesday a $192 billion bill repealing estate and gift taxes over 10 years, as part of a Republican effort to push President Bush's tax cut package quickly through Congress...But during debate on the measure, opponents argued the bill slowly phases out repeal of the tax to hide the true cost and to make it fit into Bush’s $1.6 trillion 10-year tax cut...Many also are seeking Alternative Minimum Tax relief." Rolling back this tax would amount to an additional $200 billion. Added to Bush's original plan plus interest payments, the total price tag for his tax giveaway to the rich would be well over $2 trillion!

Buyer Beware - Trigger Tax Plan Is A Sham
Tax Cut 2001

Tax trigger plans don't work. History has shown that politicians will always find ways to skirt trigger requirements. The only sensible tax plans are those based on actual, not projected surpluses. "More than three-fourths of budget surpluses projected for the next 10 years accrue after the end of 2005. But 84 percent of the 10-year cost of the Bush tax plan results from cuts that would already be in place before the end of 2005."

As Bad as it Gets: Repeal of Estate Tax is a Gigantic Bonanza for the Super Rich
Tax Cut 2001

You think you know how obscene it is but it is even worse: The 4,500 richest estates would receive $28 billion in tax relief from the repeal of the estate tax, which is equivalent to the tax relief from all provisions of the Bush tax plan that would be received by 81 million American familes, which accounts for 142 million people. If you look at all of the 64,000 estates that would be able to be transferred without paying tax the benefit to those families is equivalent to the benefit received by 102 million American families containing 192 million people. It is hard to imagine any other action the U.S. government could possibly take to put money into the pockets of the enormously wealthy in this country and exacerbate America's social stratification. The rich ARE different than you and me -- they have a government looking out for them!

Why Give a $9,000 a Day Tax Break to Julia Roberts
Tax Cut 2001

Julia has a great smile -- and we love her acting, but does she deserve a $9,000 a day tax break? Well, that's what she would get under Dubya's gluttonous tax cut proposal. And all the other millionaires in the country would join her at the groaning board of greed. (By the way, Julia probabbly opposed the tax cut. After all, she's Erin Brokovich, isn't she?)

Democrats Draw Line In Sand Over Bush's Immoral Tax Plan
Tax Cut 2001

Responding to Bush's speech promoting his "feed the rich" tax plan, Senator Joe Lieberman declared "Tonight, the charm stops here, and we've got to begin to look at the guts, the truth of the Bush proposals." Other Congressional Democrats ridiculed the Bush tax plan as "sheer madness" and "fuzzy math". They drew comparisons to Reagan's 1981 plan that paved the way for a $3 trillion increase in the national debt. At least in 1981 the Reagan plan had the support of the voters, whereas most Americans are intractably opposed to Bush's plan. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle said the plan is "far more expensive than the $1.6 trillion he claims. It will consume nearly all of the surplus, at the expense of prescription drug coverage, education, defense and other critical priorities." House Minority David Bonior pointed out the fundamental smoke-and-mirrors behind the Bush plan: "You can't project [surpluses] 10 years out."

45% of Bush's Tax Cut Goes to Richest 1%
Tax Cut 2001

Citizens for Tax Justice has recrunched the numbers for Bush's tax cut using the latest data. Taxpayers in the lowest 60% of the income scale would get only 12.7% of Bush's tax cuts. Their average annual tax reduction would be $256. The bottom 20% of taxpayers would see an average tax cut of $47 a year. In contrast, the best-off 10% of all taxpayers would get 60.3% of Bush's proposed tax cuts, and an average tax cut of $7,300 a year. The wealthiest 1% of all taxpayers would get an average tax reduction of $54,480 a year - 45% of the total tax cut.

Bush's Economic Sanctions Against The Non-Rich
Tax Cut 2001

Do you want Bush's $1,600 tax cut for "average" families? It's not so easy to qualify. "The per-child benefits only kick in once you're making enough money to pay income taxes. The main beneficiaries will be parents earning between $110,000 and $200,000, who are currently not able to take a child credit." As for the marriage penalty, "if you're making over $150,000 a year and you marry, we're going to help you out. If you're making under $20,000, you’re going to be worse off'". Taken together, Bush's plan means that "while the bottom 60 percent of the country get 13 percent of the tax cuts, about $227 each, the top 1 percent, whose average income was $915,000 in 1999, will get 43 percent of the booty. Their average tax break would be $46,000."

The Architect of America's Prosperity, Robert Rubin, Calls Bush's Tax Cut a Grave Threat
Tax Cut 2001

Robert Rubin was widely credited as being the brains behind the 8-year record period of U.S. prosperity under Bill Clinton. Now, the former Secretary of the Treasury argues that Bush is threatening our country's fiscal solvency with a high-risk tax cut. Read this article and pass the word: Don't let Bush pull the plug on the American economy to aid his rich friends!

Forget the Tax Increase, What About the Nation's Unmet Needs?
Tax Cut 2001

Of course, Bush't behemoth tax cut proposal is just a disguise for a redistribution of income to the wealthiest Americans. But the United States still has plenty of unmet needs, what about dealing with them? Is that too much to ask?