The latest round of tax cuts may have made Bush's base -- the haves and the have-mores -- very happy, but if you are a teenager trying to save money for college, you just got screwed
The $69 billion tax cut bill that President Bush signed this week tripled tax rates for teenagers with college savings funds, despite Mr. Bush's 1999 pledge to veto any tax increase.
Under the new law, teenagers age 14 to 17 with investment income will now be taxed at the same rate as their parents, not at their own rates. Long-term capital gains and dividends that had been taxed at 5 percent will now be taxed at 15 percent. Interest that had been taxed at 10 percent will now be taxed at as much as 35 percent.
The increases, which are retroactive to the first day of the year, are expected to generate nearly $2.2 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, which issues the official estimates.
Teenagers can't vote, and they don't donate money to Republicans, so they are an easy target. This kind of tax increase, at a time when college is becoming increasingly unaffordable for middle-class families, is yet another way Republicans are consciously, deliberately and systematically eliminating the middle class.
During the 2004 campaign, I used to say "If you liked 1905, you're going to love 2005." In 1913, the richest 1% of Americans -- the "robber barons" and the tycoons -- received 18% of U.S. income
. Today, that percentage receives 15% of U.S. income. This latest round of tax cuts is likely to bring the new robber barons even closer to that 18% thresshold.
So while Americans are obediently looking at the busboy at the local Applebee's, the guy nailing shingles to their neighbors' roof, and the guy down the street blowing grass clippings onto a tarp, and saying "HE's the problem!", perhaps they should look at the tax policy that Republicans are ramming through with alarming speed. Because while you're looking at Mexicans, George Bush's base is lifting the wallet out of your back pocket.