Thursday :: Apr 15, 2004

When Tax Cuts Attack


by pessimist

Polls: Americans Not Buying Bush Tax Cut Rhetoric

President Bush is scheduled to tout his tax cuts today at a Tax Day event in Iowa [4/15/04 - ed]. He is expected to repeat his oft-heard mantra that tax cuts have helped all Americans. But according to a new poll by Money Magazine, "60% of Americans said the Bush tax cut did not personally help them". ["Money poll: Tax cuts unpopular", CNN Money, 04/15/2004.]

Meanwhile, almost half of all Americans say that their taxes have risen under Bush. ["ASSOCIATED PRESS POLL: Most prefer balanced budget to tax cuts", Grand Forks Herald, 04/15/2004.]

And a look at the record shows exactly why that majority opinion is factually correct. According to a non-partisan analysis, in the year 2006 88% of Americans will receive less than $100 from the president's 2003 tax cut. ["Most Taxpayers Get Little Help From Latest Bush Tax Plan", Citizens for Tax Justice, 05/30/2003.]

Additionally, the president has refused to extend the full child tax credit to 16 million children ["Bush Tax Plan's Child Credit Boost Leaves Behind One in Four of America's Children", Citizens for Tax Justice, 05/29/2003.], including 250,000 children of military families. ["Study: Military kids slighted on tax credit", USA Today, 06/04/2003.]

At the same time, the president's 2004 budget proposed an increase of almost $6 billion in new federal taxes and fees ["Bush's 2004 Budget Proposes More Fees", Washington Post, 04/19/2003.] while creating record-deficits that have forced states to raise taxes by $14.5 billion since 2001 [State Budget & Tax Actions 2003, National Conference of State Legislatures.].

And to top it off, he has reduced IRS audits of large profitable corporations whose tax rates have plummeted ["Corporate tax burden shows sharp decline", Associated Press, 04/13/2004.], while increasing IRS audits of ordinary Americans ["IRS More Likely to Audit Individuals", Los Angeles Times, 04/12/2004.].

Of course, there is a handful of people who are reaping a personal windfall from Bush's tax policy: President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and their top campaign donors. The president himself pocketed more than $30,000 in new tax breaks this year while the Vice President took in an extra $11,000 ["Bushes, Cheneys Reaped Tax Benefits", Associated Press, 04/14/2004.]. And a new Public Campaign report shows that top Bush-Cheney contributors are raking in even more [Campaign Money Watch, 04/15/20]. For instance, Charles Cawley, CEO of credit card giant MBNA, raised more than $200,000 for the Bush-Cheney campaign and was rewarded with at least $276,000 in tax breaks. Similarly, William MaGuire, CEO of UnitedHealth Group, raised more than $100,000 for the Bush-Cheney campaign and will get at least $329,000 in new tax breaks from President Bush.


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