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Bush Tax Cuts: It's Your Money

Part 1: A simple strike to the heart of the Tax Code
 More of this Feature
• Part 2: Example Taxes Under the Bush Plan
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"I'm in a high tax bracket and I'll be the first one to admit Republicans are NOT for 'We The People' ... The Republican party has millions brainwashed with this fundamental difference between Democrats."
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Given friendly treatment in Congress, the income tax cutting plan of President-Elect Bush may start to take effect by 2002. When it does, if it does, almost all taxpayers will feel its effect. How good will it feel?

Bush is no novice tax cutter. As governor of Texas, he pushed through a $3 billion reduction in local property taxes, a $300 million cut in sales taxes, and still had enough state budget surplus left to give Texas teachers a $1 billion raise and spend $600 million on new schools. Today, Texans still pay no state income tax and enjoy the third-lowest combined tax burden in the country.

On Feb. 6, 2000, while campaigning in Durham, New Hampshire, candidate Bush explained his philosophy on taxation just about as plainly as a politician can.

"If there's a recession it's important to cut taxes to make sure the economy grows. . . . It's also important to cut the taxes where there's times of plenty. . . . It's important to cut the taxes to make sure Washington, D.C., does not spend the surplus. . . . This is not only no new taxes. This is tax cuts so help me God." -- George W. Bush, Feb. 6, 2000

On Dec. 16, 2000, while announcing some new White House staff members, President-Elect Bush again vowed to stick by his campaign pledge to cut over $1.6 trillion in taxes over the next ten years.

How the Bush Tax Plan Would Work
While he strongly supports laws repealing or reducing the estate tax and marriage penalty, Bush's tax cut plan does not stress targeted tax reduction legislation like education tax credits, or business tax breaks. Bush says he considers them to be a "way of governing" through tax reduction, rather that a way of giving "the people their money back." 

To give people their "money back," Bush plans to do his cutting at the core of the tax code -- the tax brackets. Those fearsomely fuzzy mathematical calculations that determine how much we pay, based on how much much we make.

The Bush Tax Brackets
Under the Bush plan, the tax brackets would be reorganized to the taxpayer's advantage as follows:

  • High-income persons, currently paying 39.6 and 36 percent in taxes would have their tax rate reduced to 33 percent of taxable income.

  • Middle-income persons, currently paying 31 and 28 percent in taxes would have their tax rate reduced to 25 percent of taxable income.

  • Low-income persons, currently paying 15 percent in taxes would have their tax rate reduced to 10 percent of taxable income.

In addition, the Bush plan would allow all taxpayers to deduct charitable contributions without itemizing other deductions, and increase the annual contribution limit on Education Savings Accounts from $500 to $5,000 per child.

Under this plan, say Bush's financial planners, some six million low and middle-income families will pay no taxes at all.

To compensate the government for revenue lost to tax cuts, Bush's plan would draw from the budget surplus estimated to reach $4.56 trillion by 2010.

Enough fuzzy math! What would the Bush tax cut plan mean to you -- in money?

Next page > Examples of the Bush Tax Plan Savings > Page 1, 2


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