Visitor Update: Since this plea for help was posted to the Internet in March 2001, not one single person has answered my question. The silence speaks volumes...
Somebody Help Me!
Can someone out there relieve my confusion? I'm being told one thing by my President, but the numbers on his tax plan are telling me something else.
When George W. Bush unveiled his plan to cut taxes, I listened carefully. When George W. Bush unveiled his plan to cut taxes, I listened carefully. His most coherent defense of the tax cut is that he is "simply getting tax money back to those people who pay the taxes." He argues his tax cut is proportional, meaning that people get a percentage of the tax cut that is equal to the percentage of the total tax pool that they're already paying. In other words, people get back according to how much they're paying in. As the U.S. Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation's recent report points out, a proportional tax cut preserves (assuming no shenanigans with loopholes) the progressiveness of the tax system.
So I did a bit of reading, and it turns out that the top 1% of Americans in terms of income currently (year 2000) pay 20.1% of federal taxes. My source is the Office of the Treasury OTA Paper 85, Table 12. Read it here. But 45% of the complete set of Bush's proposed tax relief would go to the top 1% income-earners.
Read about it here.
These numbers are not widely disputed. According to the Washington Post's Dana Milbank, even conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation accept these figures, and the Bush administration has declined to counter the estimate with one of its own, even though it's been asked to do so many times.
Bush has spent a lot of energy in the past few weeks claiming his tax proposal would not disproportionately benefit high-income earners. But it sure looks like that's exactly what his tax cut would do. 45% of all Bush's tax cuts go to a group that pays 20% of all federal taxes. That, by definition, is not proportional.
So can someone help me here? I'd really like to know how Bush's proposed tax cuts don't disproportionately benefit the top 1%.
I don't want to know:
why I'm a sore loser,
or why I should stop complaining,
or why I'm engaging in class warfare,
or why liberals lie me will be the downfall of American civlization
or why a flat tax would be cool,
or why your poppa's poppa died for this country so pinkos like me could mouth off
or why Bush has a good heart.
I want to know how the tax cut doesn't disproportionately benefit the top 1%.
I'm sure the answer is obvious, and that I just can't see it. So somebody help me out and point out the glaring error here.
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