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Secrets of the Bush Tax Cuts

First a bit of context. The following is the lede from a November 14, 2012 Associated Press article by Ken Thomas that appeared in the Huffington Post.

“In a challenge to Republicans, President Barack Obama urged Congress on Wednesday to extend expiring tax cuts immediately for all but the nation's highest income earners as a way to eliminate half of the so-called "fiscal cliff" that threatens to send the economy back into recession.

"What I'm not going to do is to extend Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent that we can't afford and according to economists will have the least positive impact on the economy," the president said at his first news conference since his re-election last week.”

I know the Left has trouble with facts, but let’s look at a few presented by John Merline in his Investor’s Business Daily article last week. According to Merline:

“It's been more than 10 years since President Bush signed his first round of tax cuts into law. And in the years since, those cuts have been the source of constant attacks. Critics charge they gave away too much to the rich, exploded the deficit, contributed to income inequality, did little to spur economic growth, and so on.

“President Obama has for years attacked the Bush cuts, and demanded that the top two income tax brackets return to Clinton-era levels.

“But a decade of debate and discussion has managed to shed little light on what the Bush tax cuts actually did.”

What are these facts, which Merline writes about? Let’s look at a few:

“The rich paid more. Despite endless claims by critics that Bush's tax cuts favored the rich, the fact is the rich ended up paying more in taxes after they went into effect.

“In fact, IRS data show that the richest 1% paid $84 billion more in taxes in 2007 than they had in 2000 — that's a 23% increase — even though their average tax rate went down.

“What's more, their share of the overall income tax burden grew, climbing from 37% in 2000 to 40% in 2007."

Readers are invited to read Merline’s entire column for more facts about the Bush tax cuts. If you prefer the proverbially picture, here’s the chart from Merline’s column:

So which do you prefer, the ephemeral pleasure of President Obama's concept of fairness, or the additional revenues produced by lowering tax rates?


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