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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Bush transfer of American wealth from the working class to the rich
Posted by Jill | 4:38 AM

Here in NJ, about 8000 Lucent workers are going to find themselves out of work as a result of the company's acquisition by Alcatel. Delphi workers are being asked to take a 35% pay cut. Tech jobs are being outsourced, if not to India, then to companies that pay significantly less and offer less security. Illegal immigration is suppressing the wages of the working poor.

So who has benefitted under George W. Bush? Why his base, of course: the haves and the have-mores:

The first data to document the effect of President Bush's tax cuts for investment income show that they have significantly lowered the tax burden on the richest Americans, reducing taxes on incomes of more than $10 million by an average of about $500,000.

An analysis of Internal Revenue Service data by The New York Times found that the benefit of the lower taxes on investments was far more concentrated on the very wealthiest Americans than the benefits of Mr. Bush's two previous tax cuts: on wages and other noninvestment income.


The analysis found the following:

¶Among taxpayers with incomes greater than $10 million, the amount by which their investment tax bill was reduced averaged about $500,000 in 2003, and total tax savings, which included the two Bush tax cuts on compensation, nearly doubled, to slightly more than $1 million.

¶These taxpayers, whose average income was $26 million, paid about the same share of their income in income taxes as those making $200,000 to $500,000 because of the lowered rates on investment income.

¶Americans with annual incomes of $1 million or more, about one-tenth of 1 percent all taxpayers, reaped 43 percent of all the savings on investment taxes in 2003. The savings for these taxpayers averaged about $41,400 each. By comparison, these same Americans received less than 10 percent of the savings from the other Bush tax cuts, which applied primarily to wages, though that share is expected to grow in coming years.

¶The savings from the investment tax cuts are expected to be larger in subsequent years because of gains in the stock market.

The Times showed the new numbers to people on various sides of the debate over tax cuts. Stephen J. Entin, president of the Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation, a Washington organization, and other supporters of the cuts said they did not go far enough because the more money the wealthiest had to invest, the more would go to investments that produce jobs. For investment income, Mr. Entin said, "the proper tax rate would be zero."

Opponents say the cuts are too generous to those who already have plenty. Representative Charles B. Rangel of New York, the senior Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, said after seeing the new figures that "these tax cuts are beyond irresponsible" when "we're in a war; we haven't fixed Social Security or Medicare; we've got record deficits."

I love the way the right is still repeating the hoary old chestnut that if you give rich people huge tax cuts, they create jobs. This may be true, but the jobs are being created overseas, not here. And I don't see rich INDIVIDUALS creating a whole lot of jobs, other than for nannies and pool boys and gardeners -- the very same jobs for which they're hiring illegals so they can pay $15/day.

This is what's so disingenuous about the whole furor over immigration at this point -- it keeps Americans looking down the economic ladder in search of people to blame, at the same time that those who already have more than they can spend in four lifetimes pick their pockets from behind.
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