When "Fair Tax Cuts" Turn Sour

The Washington Post today reported that the Bush administration's tax cuts weren't quite as fair as they were made out to be.
Read the whole article here.

The CBO study, due to be released today, found that the wealthiest 20 percent, whose incomes averaged $182,700 in 2001, saw their share of federal taxes drop from 64.4 percent of total tax payments in 2001 to 63.5 percent this year. The top 1 percent, earning $1.1 million, saw their share fall to 20.1 percent of the total, from 22.2 percent.

Over that same period, taxpayers with incomes from around $51,500 to around $75,600 saw their share of federal tax payments increase. Households earning around $75,600 saw their tax burden jump the most, from 18.7 percent of all taxes to 19.5 percent.

...But the conclusions have heightened significance because of their source, a nonpartisan government agency headed by a former senior economist from the Bush White House, Douglas Holtz-Eakin. Indeed, the study will likely stoke an already burning debate about the fairness and efficacy of $1.7 trillion in tax cuts that the president pushed through Congress.

[Republicans] point to a different set of numbers within the CBO study that show that the rich are actually paying more in individual federal income taxes. If Social Security, Medicare and other federal levies are excluded, the rich are paying a higher share of income taxes this year than they would have paid with no tax changes, the CBO found. If none of the tax cuts had passed, the top 20 percent would pay 78.4 percent of income taxes this year. Instead, they will pay 82.1 percent. In contrast, the middle-class share of income taxes dropped to 5.4 percent, from 6.4 percent if no tax cuts had passed.

The tax cuts this year will boost the income of millionaires by 10.1 percent, while middle-income families see a boost of 2.3 percent, the Democrats said.

...GOP aides said, tax cuts for the wealthy were overdue.

Wow. Let's hope the democrats jump on this all guns blazin'. I've had many discussions with people about this subject and all I can say is that if the rich make 200x what we do, they should pay a bit more than we do in taxes. Taxes are out there, as I see it, to level the playing field a bit. If middle-class people are going to pay more than lower-class, why shouldn't the uppers pay more than the middle-class?
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