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Friday, February 20, 2004

Bush Tax World

Well, the official congressional scorecard (.pdf) has come in on what one of Bush's pet tax cuts for the rich is going to cost the rest of us. The Joint Committee on Taxation has released its numbers on the revenue impact of the deep tax cut that was enacted for dividends on stocks.

Not to bore you with too much detail, but in 2003, for the first time, dividends on stocks are treated as "capital gains" -- meaning they're taxed at special low rates. For guys like Dick Cheney, that means the tax on the dividends they receive on the stocks they own has been cut from 35% to 15%.

Notice, the tax has been cut by more than half for guys like him.

But not for you. If you work for a living, the federal income tax on your wage income can run as high as 35%, and for huge numbers of folks, it hits 25%. The rates were previously 39.6% and 28%. So your cut is -- cough! -- much, much more modest.

Then there's Social Security tax, which grabs another 7.65% or so. (Your employer pays still another 7.65%, and you wonder if that doesn't come out of your pocket, too.) There's been no change to that at all.

For many wage earners, income taxes run at more than 30%. But if you live off dividends, the maximum tax rate is now 15%, thanks to W, and there's no Social Security tax.

And the cost to the rest of us of that rich guy tax cut? $66.1 billion this year alone.

That's more lost taxes than it costs us to allow every homeowner in the country to deduct the interest on his or her home mortgage.

I'm kind of a hawk when it comes to the war, but I have no respect for a government that runs the money like this. With the hole we are digging, we are going to end up like some of the industrialized world's more marginal economies. And for what? To pad Dick Cheney's wallet? Oh, yeah, I forgot, that's going to trickle down and create jobs for all of us.

This is like a teenager on a drunken road trip to Mexico with your credit cards. Bush-Cheney has got to come to an end.

Comments (8)

Thanks, Jack. In less than 400 words, you have more than capably described what took the administration reams of paper to state. This should be required reading.

If the Democrats had put up serious candidates for President instead of the lamest group of nine since the 1962 NY Mets, the country would be better off and I doubt the incumbent would have put through such a screwy tax cut.

let us not forget that the U.S. is one of only a handful of countries that imposes a double tax on corporate profits. perhaps we should be more "progressive" and cut out this double taxation like the rest of europe and the western world.

Yeah, a "double tax," except that fully half of the corporations are buying sham tax shelters and not paying the corporate tax at all. Then their shareholders pay only 15%. Show me another respectable country who makes life that sweet for the fat cats.

even though I am a Republican, I am a little worried about the deficits and the recent tax cuts. But as I read more and more good information about the situation, I revert back to anger at Dems who take shots at "Cheney and the Fat Cats". These attacks only serve to bolster people who already hate Republicans and give them a warped sense of moral superiority. And it turns off Republicans who have an open mind.

As a new Oregonian, I really like this site and i've learned alot about the state and I appreciate this information. But writing posts like this as if you are a "man of the people" who doesn't benefits from the recent tax cuts is a little disingenuous.

anyway, keep up the good work

Tell us: what's "the good information about the situation"? What's good for the individual is not necessarily good for society. Society as a whole loses when its most well-off suck up resources and tell the lesser well-off, in effect, to go to hell.

writing posts like this as if you are a "man of the people" who doesn't benefits from the recent tax cuts is a little disingenuous.

In fact, there was little or no tax cut for my family. With the serious increases in state and local taxes, we paid the same or more taxes on less income than last year. When Cheney's and Bush's tax returns are made public, you can read about them here. Maybe we'll compare mine.

Welcome to Oregon.

When I said "good information about the situation" I was referring to posts in general that give a great argument, then serve to infuriate by mentioning "fat cats" or "big oil", etc. I'm just guessing here, but on this site, you do a little pursuading about certain issues you beleive in (like pushing Edwards for pres). I was just pointing out that a great point can be overshadowed when you throw in an unnecessary jab.

It would be foolish of me to get into a debate on taxes with a tax professor, but I was basing my other comment that someone your age and who makes a decent living had some dividend paying securities somewhere in his portfolio.

maybe I'll post my taxes on here so you all can have a good laugh

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