Bush's "The Rich Don't Pay Taxes" Meme

As best as I can tell, the idea is to scare voters away from Kerry by selling Kerry’s proposals to repeal the Bush tax cuts for those earning over $200K/yr as a hopeless venture that will end up as a tax hike on the middle class, since the rich just figure out how to weasel out of all their taxes anyway.

And I think it ultimately goes beyond that - to attempt to brainwash the American people to think there’s no point in taxing the rich, period. After all, his ‘base’ is the haves and have-mores, and he’s got to protect them.

Anyhow, here’s the quotes, and the links, straight from whitehouse.gov:

Yesterday (August 9), Annandale, VA:

August 5, Columbus, Ohio:

July 31, Canton, Ohio:

July 14, Fond Du Lac, WI

If that’s the case why did he cut their taxes in the first place?

blinks innocently

Where can I find one of these so called “accountants” so that I may stop paying taxes?


Yeah, well that would be expecting him to make factual sense, as opposed to political sense. What do you want from the President of the United States, elementary logical and reasoning abilities? That’s the thing about you liberals - you expect the President to be an expert on everything! Why, next you’ll be expecting him to be able to do basic arithmetic!! Sheez. :smiley:

Are you rich? No? Sorry. H&R Block or TurboTax for you, and expect to pay up like a good prole.

It’s really not THAT silly. Do you doubt that “the rich” seek tax shelters and that the shelters would be less appealing if the tax rates were lower?

Of course that begs that question, why not get rid of the tax shelters in the first place…? :slight_smile:

Well, of course I know that. I was by way of poking a hole in it.

And I, for one, have an accountant who does my taxes and offers advice. We haven’t broken the law but we’ve skated near the edge from time to time.

OTOH, John, do you really think that lowering taxes makes shelters less desirable? Or does it just provide incentive for keeping the money there for even greater savings?

I’m not sure I understand your question. As I’m sure you know, a lot of loopholes don’t eliminate taxes, they just reduce them. As the tax rates get lower, these loopholes offer less savings. Where would “greater savings” come from?

I’d be in favor of eliminated all deductions and loopholes, except one standard deduction used as a floor, below which income is not taxed. At that point, one could have a more intelligent discussion about tax rates. As it is, people of similar incomes can pay vastly different taxes, depending on how creative they want to get with loopholes. I do a LOT of it myself, but would gladly give up that advantage for a fairer, straightforward tax structure.

Just when I thought RT could not amaze me any more, he suddenly announces that he hadn’t known that very wealthy people use high-end accounting firms to escape paying as much tax as possible. He also apparently hadn’t known that the tax increases promised by Kerry are on capital growth, not on trusts like the Heinz Family Philanthropies or the Tides Foundation, where wealthy people can hold their money and not be taxed until they spend it.

Ah, come on, Lib, RT does know that. He’s just saying that it’s disingenuous for Bush to use the practice as an excuse not to tax the rich.

Bush is saying, in effect, “I gave the rich a tax cut, so now they keep more of their money! My opponent wants to raise taxes on the rich, but it doesn’t matter, because they don’t pay taxes anyway!” If they weren’t paying taxes before, what was the point of the tax cut?

All I’m saying here is that if one cuts taxes I’m not clear that it would reduce the reliance on tax shelters. I think the most obvious outcome of such cuts would be ‘Great! Now I can still use my shelters and save even more! Woot!’.

That’s how I’d do it, anyway.

On your basic scheme hey, I’m all for simplfying the tax code. But good luck getting that through congress.

JC, I’ve got to agree with John Mace: in general, lower rates make tax shelters less attractive, because there’s less to be saved by sheltering the income, and so the risk and general bother involved in a tax shelter becomes less attractive compared to normal, everyday (unsheltered) investments.

[major hijack of my own thread]
And I too am in favor of stripping the bells and whistles off the tax structure. Two examples that appall me, even though there’s a decent chance that I might benefit from one of them in the not-too-distant future:

One is the SUV deduction: if you have your own business, and you buy an SUV whose weight is >6000 lbs., and you use it more for business than personal use, you get to deduct the entire cost of the vehicle, in the year you buy it. Why? I dunno.

Another is the adoption deduction: adopt a child, and you can claim a credit - not even a deduction, but a credit, a full refund from Uncle Sam - for $10K of adoption expenses. I don’t know why this one, either.

I could at least semi-understand the adoption credit, if we were talking about American babies that were in the hard-to-adopt category - over 3 years old, substantial handicaps and other problems, stuff like that - because it’s possible to divine a government interest in ensuring that children are raised in stable environments - families - rather than being passed from foster home to foster home. But if you and your spouse adopt a healthy infant from Ukraine, you’re just as eligible for the credit as if you adopt a mixed-race, mentally handicapped, sexually abused 8 year old from Chicago. So even if you assume that using the tax code to further social goals of one sort or another is a reasonable thing, it’s still fucked up.

And once these things are in the tax code, it’s merry hell to get them out again. Each tax break accumulates a constituency, which is ready to swing into action at the first hint of repeal. Even if time has passed, the world has changed, and whatever justification the tax break may have had, is now ancient history.

So yeah, put me down in the ‘favors massive simplification of the tax code’ column.
[/major hijack of my own thread]

But that’s really neither here nor there, as far as the thread is concerned. The fact still stands that you can raise rates on the higher brackets, and it will result in more tax revenue for the government from the rich. You can also undo cuts in taxes that overwhelmingly affect the rich. This can be done; Clinton did it.

Anyway, a little tidbit from USA Today:

I mention this here because the “Ask President Bush” fora seem to be his favorite venue for retelling the meme I’ve described here. I’m hoping to add a coupla for-instances of his using it.

What Duke said.

Please also note your own phrase: “to escape paying as much tax as possible.” Not “to escape paying any tax” but ‘as much as possible’. The rich pay taxes, and it’s possible to raise taxes on the rich. Bill Clinton did it, and George W. Bush undid it. (According to Krugman, $270B of this year’s ~$445B deficit is attributable to the Bush tax cuts.) Seems to follow that Kerry could un-undo it.


The bolded word is wrong, hence this bit of idiocy has no relevance to this discussion.

Will President Kerry be paying income tax on his $400,000.00/year annual salary? I looked, but I couldn’t find the answer anywhere.

I just finished explaining that. They were paying taxes on captial growth. So what they did was shove their money into trusts and “charities” (I use quotes because some of them are 401c3 political organizations that benefit the contributors, who are owed favors by the people they help elect). That way, the didn’t have to pay any taxes until the money was actually spent. Meanwhile, disincentivizing capital growth is a plan too moronic for words.

Probably, but he isn’t worried about that chump change. You can rest assured that he and his wife will be filing separately as always, partly so that she can continue to “disclose” such horseshit as earning only $5 million a year, and partly so that they can shelter as much of her money as possible.

You sound a bit disparaging there, Lib. What’s the problem with that?

Are you really that desperate?

Are you honestly that daft? What difference does it make to the rich that they fly in depreciated corporate private jets as opposed to private jets on which they pay property tax? They don’t put this stuff in their own personal names. These things are common knowlege. If you’re filthy rich and want to avoid paying taxes, you form corporations, make yourself Chairman and CEO, avail yourself of all the corporate perks like limousines, jets, and holidays in exotic places while carefully and deliberately creating as much “loss” (in the form of expense) as you can without going broke or cooking the books illegally. Even the not-so-filthy rich do creative things. A mere multi-millionaire, for example, can put a couple of cows in a pasture at the edge of his estate and call his property a “farm”, thereby availing himself of some nifty tax breaks not to mention outright subsidies.

Cite for what, that a tax on income is a tax on capital growth? […knocking on your forehead…] Anyone in there?

What the…? From the IRS:

The trusts scrupulously avoid earning income. Neverthess, the depositors maintain ownership of the capital. If you believe that top accounting and corporate legal firms do not understand intimately how to manipulate these things, you are hopelessly naive.

The problem with what, Andros?

There goes GWB again, who, like his father was born with a silver foot in his mouth.

Here is why Bush’s comments cited in the OP are as stupid and vulgar as they come.

  1. “Those rich people.” Waitasec, GWB himself is one of them. He should be saying, “We can dodge them.” So what’s his own experience? Does he dodge taxes as much as possible? How? If he doesn’t, then I guess there is a certain percentage of rich folk who don’t. What are the numbers?

I’m not accusing Bush here of dodging taxes. I’m accusing him of failing to connect the dots, which failure is a regular thing for him. I’m 100% confident that he has never played with the numbers on Excel to see what options are available, what is practical and what is not. For GWB, a sound byte is always good enough.

  1. “They just dodge taxes.” As during the 7 Pet Goat Minutes, GWB doesn’t see himself in a position actually to change things for the better in the country. Could the President make an effort to change the tax code so that it is actually fair and simple? Nah. Can’t remember Uncle Dick ever putting that on my to-do list.

GWB: what an idiot, what a complete tool.