Bush's tax cut for the rich? Seems that way, Doesn't it?

Well it’s not intentional. Put it this way:

Someone who makes $500,000 grand a year is probably taxed at like 35%(i’m guessing, i have know idea), leaving him with $325,000 for the year.

Someone who makes $30,000 grand a year is taxed at 24%, leaving hime with $22,800 for the year.
Now it seems clear to me that the guy who made more money, paid more in taxes, so if there’s a tax cut across the board, the guy who paid more should get more from a tax cut. What is so wrong about this? Why do those who make less complain that the tax cut is for the rich? If you had won the lottery or have gotten a nice inheritence, you’d be singin’ a different tune about Bush’s tax cut.

Look, I made like $23,000 last year. I don’t care that the rich would benefit more because hey, they paid more, their in a higher tax bracket. If I made a million bucks last year and paid a lot in taxes, I would expect more in return for a tax cut. But because I didn’t, I don’t expect to receive more because I paid very little into taxes.

If I’ve got this wrong correct me. But the idea is still the same. Pay little, get little. Pay more, get more. If i’d make a million bucks next year, I do not want the tax money owed to me going to someone who didn’t work as hard for that money.

There’s some down home wisdom in Farmer’s thread.

What is wrong with an across the board tax cut? It is more fair than targeting specific areas. The rich do pay more in taxes as a percentage of their income than the poor do.

My prior job involved preparing a great many individual income tax returns. The people making $300,000 per year or more were not weaseling out of paying their taxes. Most of the income tax shelters are either gone, or severely reduced.

It always bugs me when people say, I don’t want this because it also benefits the rich, even though it also benefits me. Would those same people vote for a 1% across the board tax hike because it would mean a bigger tax jump for someone making a million bucks (drool) than a family making $50K per year.

I do think it is pretty irresponsible to have tax cuts that big based on “projected surplus” when the economy is going through what can at best be called a correction, and before they have even passed a budget for NEXT YEAR! Granted, the Senate is not likely to even look at the tax cut until about June, but who thinks the budget will be even close to done by then? :: chirp. . . chirp::

The estate tax on the other hand, aww never mind.

Any “tax refund” that doesn’t return the dough in the proportion it was paid is, to at least some extent, not a tax refund. It’s a form of welfare. And welfare is not a dirty word to me–but that’s what it would amount to, to the extent that people who paid X% of the tax burden get back (X+Y)% of the refund. Y = a redistribution of wealth.

The last issue of the Rolling Stone (not a bastion of right-wing thinking, though it was in an article by P.J. O’Rourke) indicated that the richest 10% pay about 66% of the federal income tax burden (the statistic was attributed to the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation). If we’re refunding an “overpayment,” why wouldn’t these 10% get 66% of the refund? As nearly as I can tell from the Democratic leadership, it’s because those folks are already rich enough. And this is a sentiment a lot of people share. It somehow just sticks in people’s craws to return even more $$$ to the wealthy.

Fine. But if those taxes ought to be redistributed to people less well-off, then call a spade a spade–it’s a form of welfare dressed up as a refund.

Not necessarily anything wrong with that, but that’s what it is.

The rich here pay far less than in the UK or most of Europe.
If we taxed just estates of the wealthiest 5% of the population, 50% of us could be tax-free.

Suppose we had exactly two citizens, and two taxes. Tax A hits up Smith for $200 and Jones for $100; Tax B, the reverse. If Tax A were cut by 50% across the board while leaving Tax B alone, would that be fair?

There are a variety of taxes by which we pay the bills to keep the governments at various levels going. The income and estate taxes are just two of those. They also happen to be the two taxes that are the most progressive of the major taxes - more so than real and personal property taxes, more so than most state income taxes, far more so than state sales taxes, and incredibly more so than the payroll taxes that keep the Social Security and Medicare trust funds afloat.

Most of these make a much bigger dent on the lives of blue-collar types than they do to my upper middle class life, let alone that of someone who’s genuinely wealthy. The estate and income taxes are the two taxes that balance out the regressive effects of the other taxes.

So if we cut these taxes proportionately, guess what? We haven’t cut taxes proportionately. We’ve just given the impression of fairness by moving all of the other taxes out of the discussion. We’ve cut Tax A while leaving Tax B the same, but have managed to deflect attention from that fact.

Care to offer us more than this? Like maybe the method and data sources used for computation? It sounds a bit far-fetched to me.

I hope this isn’t to imply that the people who are on the bottom rung of the tax bracket ladder aren’t hardworking people.

I hope this isn’t to imply that the people who are on the bottom rung of the tax bracket ladder aren’t hardworking people.

I certainly didn’t read it that way. Just because someone’s loaded, that doesn’t mean they didn’t bust a nut or two to get their money. Hell, even if they didn’t, even if they just won a $40 million lottery, they have just as much right to their money as a lazy college punk like me earning minimum wage.

I’m wondering how long this tax cut is going to last? How long will it be 'til it’s necessary to raise taxes again to the 2000 (or 2001) level to keep up with the cost of services.

At that time, how steep will the tax increase be? I’d be willing to bet it’ll be steep as compared to raising it from it’s present level.

I did not mean to post twice, mods, if you want, please erase one of my double posts!

Spoofe-I wasn’t implying that someone who didn’t work for it-just won the lottery-didn’t deserve it either. I’m just asking a question, of course.


**I hope this isn’t to imply that the people who are on the bottom rung of the tax bracket ladder aren’t hardworking people.
Of course not. But I will say that making a million dollars isn’t as easy as the work you or I do. Like I said, I made $23,000 last year, and I busted my ass, and still do. I was just saying that If I made million bucks next year, I should get a proportional amount back in a tax return. That money shouldn’t go back to those that didn’t put in as much.


The rich here pay far less than in the UK or most of Europe. If we taxed just estates of the wealthiest 5% of the population, 50% of us could be tax-free.

If you are talking about the estate tax, we tax only the wealthiest 2% of the population, leaving the other 98% to pay no estate tax at all, with a minimum of estate planning. This is not completely accurate, since, with the unlimited marital deduction, even Bill Gates can pay no estate tax if he leaves everything to his wife. She would have a whopping bill due at her death, though.

Technically, only 2% of estates have to pay any estate tax at all, but that includes wealthy folks who leave the dough to their spouse.

Are there any Doper furrin’ers who know how estates are taxed in furrin’ lands. I know that in Belgium, and, I guess most of the continental Europe, the level of estate tax is at least partially based on the degree of relation between the dead dude and the beneficiary. Anybody else know more about that?

See further analysis of this sort here.

RTFirefly’s point is well taken, in that the overall percentage of all taxes paid by rich people will probably go down as a result of this tax measure. Definitely something in that.

The only counterpoint I would make is that there is some rationale for having payroll taxes be not as regressive to begin with. Probably they were viewed as a form of insurance, or of savings fund, with the idea being that the people were paying for their own way (in a loose manner) making the issue of affordability not as pressing. To the extent that these taxes are needed to fund anticipated benefits, they cannot be cut without funding these programs out of general funds. The proper way to look at it, IMHO, is that the side of the government which is funded by regressive taxes has a surplus, which justifies a regressive tax cut, while the side funded by non-regressive taxes does not. (If there is a surplus in these programs, their taxes should definitely be cut as well).

I don’t think state taxes, or any other taxes that the federal government doesn’t control have anything to do with the issue.

Every tax debate I listen to centers on how much this guy pays in relation to some other guy. We have become so accustomed to paying high taxes the word FAIR is reduced to treating everyone in some equitable manner. Would it be FAIR if I robbed all convience stores and took half of their goods? If I dug up all graves and stripped the valuables from the lifeless bodies would that be FAIR? I mean as long as I’m treating everyone in an equitable manner it seems to me that pretty much anything is FAIR game.
If you are doing something you should not be doing there is no FAIR way to do it! Our government is performing activities (welfare, socialized medicine, etc.) that it should not be doing and it is taking money from working people to do it. There is no fair way to do this. If you rape person A and also rape person B but did not put it in all the way it would be ridiculous to discuss who you raped the most. It is wrong, wrong, wrong! This is what our government does, it puts it in (or takes it out of you paycheck) a little at a time and tells you your not being screwed!
The government has overstepped the limits granted to it by the constitution. We should only be paying for constitutionally mandated government activities. Surplus or no surplus there should be a tax cut, and if the government needs more money it should cut back or eliminate some of the useless and unconstitutional activities it performs. This should be repeated next year and the year after that, until the people and the politician are weaned and are no longer sucking the wage earners for sustenance.

Oh dear, you were serious in your democracy rant weren’t you?

Piece of advice newbie, data and facts count here in Great Debates, as do cogent arguments. Your rant… Well, frankly I don’t see much added value but that’s just me.

Actually reading the Constitution probably wouldn’t hurt, either.

Oh dear, you were serious in your democracy rant weren’t you?


You must live in a Socialist society. Feals good doesn’t it?
Just where did I mention anything about democracy, I thougt I was talking about taxes.

What type of data and facts would you like to see? A dictionary definition of FAIR? Quotes from famous philosopher about the concept of FAIR? A copy of the constitution so you can determine the function and responsibility of government?
What!, What! What!

Wouldn’t it be easier just to have an ‘exempt’ level i.e. first 20k is tax exempt then rest is 20% or something ?

I think there is a good argument for having a ‘simple’ tax structure, usually simple things work better.

All this tinkering for special groups just ends up in a great big mess.
How about, first 20,000 is tax exempt, the rest at 20% and a 50% inheritance tax ( to help level out social inequality ! ).

Any comments ?

The flat tax would be simpler, but would invariably help the rich at the expense of the less rich (cf. with the OP, which discusses helping the rich AND less rich) A typical couple making about $60,000 with a home, would be in an AVERAGE tax bracket of about 20%, meaning that their total tax is about 20% of their total income. Their MARGINAL tax bracket, the tax on their income above $45,000 is 28%. A family making $1,000,000 is likely to have a AVERAGE tax bracket of 30-35%, but their MARGINAL tax bracket for income above $297,000 is 39.6%.

The wealthy pay a higher average tax, due to the fact that the marginal tax on higher income is quite high. A flat tax would reduce the average tax rate for wealthy individuals, without affecting that much the average tax rate for the middle class or poor. That would in fact be a tax cut for just the rich, rather than Dubya’s, which is an across the board cut that affects the poor and the rich.