Friday, August 13, 2004
From Today's Whitehouse Briefing at the Washington Post:
Taxes II: The Rich Get the Breaks
Here's an excerpt from the text of Bush's speech in Las Vegas yesterday:
"Just be careful -- all I ask you is be careful about all this talk about taxing the rich. You know how that goes. The so-called rich hire accountants and lawyers to maybe not pay as much, and therefore, in order to meets all these promises guess who gets to end up stuck with the bill?
"AUDIENCE MEMBER: We do.
"THE PRESIDENT: The working people."
Well, it turns out that Bush is certainly right about who gets stuck with the bill -- but the credit doesn't go to the accountants and lawyers. It goes to his tax cuts.
Jonathan Weisman writes in The Washington Post: "Since 2001, President Bush's tax cuts have shifted federal tax payments from the richest Americans to a wide swath of middle-class families, the Congressional Budget Office has found, a conclusion likely to roil the presidential election campaign."
Here's the full CBO report (1.6M PDF).
Edmund L. Andrews writes in the New York Times: "Fully one-third of President Bush's tax cuts in the last three years have gone to people with the top 1 percent of income, who have earned an average of $1.2 million annually, according to a report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office to be published Friday.
"The report calculated that households with incomes in that top 1 percent were receiving an average tax cut of $78,460 this year, while households in the middle 20 percent of earnings - averaging about $57,000 a year - were getting an average cut of only $1,090."
I point this out specifically to highlight the lies of the Bush administration on tax policy. Bush promised to that the vast majority of his tax relief would go to working class americans. Virtually none of it has.
When John Kerry tried to attach an amendment to the $87 billion dollar authorization for Iraq several months ago that would have repealed the tax cuts for the top 1%, Bush threatened to veto the bill. That amendment would have raised $84-$87 billion dollars.
So, here's the real question: as Americans, is it more important to fund schools, national defense, Social Security, Welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, Headstart, etc. or is it more important to allow the ultra-wealthy to afford yet another Ferrari?