NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


January 23, 2008

The federal tax system has become more progressive due to the Bush tax cuts, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).

Michael Stroup, a professor of economics at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas, in a study for the National Center for Policy Analysis, shows that the U.S. tax code has grown more progressive after every major tax bill over the last 15 years:

  • From 1986 to 2004, the total share of the income tax burden paid by the top 1 percent of income earners grew by nearly half, rising from 25.8 percent to 36.9 percent.
  • Over that same time, the burden of the bottom 50 percent of earners was almost halved, falling from 6.5 percent to 3.3 percent.

The shrinking of the tax rolls is no secret, says IBD:

  • The Tax Foundation has noted that in 2000, a year before the first tax cuts under Bush, roughly 30 million tax returns had no income tax liability; every dollar those earners made they kept.
  • By 2004, a year after the second round of cuts was passed, 43 million returns had no tax. 
  • In all, the Tax Foundation says, more than 25 million Americans have been wiped off the federal tax rolls by President Bush.

Source: Editorial, "Rich Man's Burden," Investor's Business Daily, January 22, 2008.


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