Thursday, November 18, 2004

Wealthy: +3 Middle Class: -2

As Matthew Yglesias reads the Bush administration tax reform, he counts "three tax cuts for the wealthy here offset by two tax hikes on the middle class." Kevin Drum outlines the essential elements of the plan through this list of excerpts from the Post article cited earlier today:
1. ...shield interest, dividends and capitals gains from taxation.

2. ...expand tax breaks for business investment.

3. ...eliminating the deduction of state and local taxes on federal income tax returns.

4. ...scrapping the business tax deduction for employer-provided health insurance.

5. ...large savings accounts that could shelter thousands of dollars of deposits each year from taxation on investment gains.

6. ...eliminate the alternative minimum tax, a parallel income tax designed to ensure that the rich pay income taxes.
So that appears to be four tax breaks for the wealthy (1, 2, 5, and 6) and two tax hikes on the middle class (3 and 4). However, Yglesias points out that #5 is actually just an elaboration of #1, not a distinct item. So he is correct: chalk up a score of +3 for the wealthy and -2 for the middle class. Yay.

OK, now I really do have to get ready to visit the home State of Tom DeLay.


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