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Tue, 13 Apr 2004
  /politics/usa  
Cutting taxes, non-Republican style

Tax season is here, and I just did mine. Along the way I came across a table of the tax rates for 2002 and 2003, illustrating the Bush tax cut in action:

Single 2002 $0 to $6,000 10% $6,001 to $27,950 15% $27,951 to $67,700 27% $67,701 to $141,250 30% $141,251 to $307,050 35% $307,051 and up 38.6% Single 2003 $0 to $7,000 10% $7,001 to $28,400 15% $28,401 to $68,800 25% $68,801 to $143,500 28% $143,501 to $311,950 33% $311,951 and up 35%
Not only does the cut benefit the wealthy on an absolute dollar amount, but even on a percentage basis! The wealthy get 3.6% off, the middle class 2%, and the poor zippo.

Many pundits have commented that tax cuts must benefit the wealthy disproportionately no matter how you engineer it, but it's easy to put the lie to that. Just raise the standard deduction. The wealthy do not use the standard deduction, because they itemize mortgage interest, investment losses, yada yada yada. Only those at the bottom of the tax food chain are using the standard deduction. Want to cut taxes for them? Raise the standard deduction $10000. As an added benefit, you will reduce tax fraud. The higher the standard deduction, the fewer folks will itemize. Less itemization = less fraud.

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