A report released this week from Citizens for Tax Justice explains how "tax day" has changed under President George W. Bush. The answer for most Americans is: very little. Despite claims made by the President and his supporters, the tax breaks enacted after 2000 provide little benefit for the middle-class. However, for the richest one percent of American families, tax day is considerably easier. Once the President's tax cuts are fully phased in, the majority of the benefits will flow to this small group of lucky families.
What has changed for most Americans is the very real threat posed by the increased national debt resulting from these tax cuts. The national debt must eventually be paid off with tax increases or cuts in public services that Americans -- particularly the middle-class -- rely on.
The report explains that:
- The tax cuts received by the typical American are nowhere near as large as the President and his supporters imply, and are in fact too small to make any difference in the life of a typical American family.
- When the Bush tax cuts are fully phased in, the majority of the benefits will go to the richest one percent.
- If the Bush tax cuts are made permanent, as the President proposes, the cost will be $5 trillion over the 2011-2020 period. To put that in context, the federal government collected $2.6 trillion in revenue last year.
- The Bush tax cuts received by the richest one percent in 2008 will be more than the funding received by the Department of Education, almost twice as much as the funds received by the Department of Homeland Security and over ten times as much as received by the Environmental Protection Agency.