NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


April 29, 2008

Free health care, free college, subsidized mortgages and other goodies can be paid for by repealing President Bush's tax cuts on the rich, according to the Democratic Presidential candidates.  The problem is that there were no Bush tax cuts on the rich, says the East Valley Tribune.

How could that be?  We all been told so many times that the super-rich walked off with the money when income tax rates were cut in 2001 and 2003 that most Americans assume it surely must be true.  The fact is that the income tax has become even more "progressive" since 2000:

  • The rates were cut, but the rich pay more taxes than ever.
  • Not only that, the wealthy have seen their share of taxes rise more steeply than their share of income.
  • After the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, the income share of the top 1 percent rose 8.6 percent, while their tax burden rose 8.9 percent.
  • Meanwhile, the income share of the bottom 50 percent of earners fell 2.8 percent while their share of taxes fell 17 percent.

This should come as no surprise to any observer not blinded by ideology.  Cuts in tax rates over the past 30 years, whether Democrat or Republican, have consistently resulted in more income for the government, increased the proportion paid by the rich and made the tax code more progressive, says the Tribune.

Source: Tom Patterson, 'Tax Cuts For Wealthy' Screed Doesn't Hold Water," East Valley Tribune, April 27, 2008.


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