Note to Biden -Bush Tax Cuts Raised Revenue 44 %

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by jem, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. jem

    jem

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/beltway...-cuts-payments-by-wealthy-actually-increased/


    I can think of no issue that is a better example of how far off the founders’ roadmap we have strayed than the issue of tax policy.

    Let’s examine the popular message that the Bush tax cuts somehow have favored the wealthy and are a significant contributor to our current escalating Federal budget deficit. That claim has been made so often by politicians and endlessly repeated by the media that it must be true; but is it? Let’s look at the facts. Table 1 below shows Federal Tax Revenues, Federal Expenditures and the Budget Surplus or Deficit from 1993 (the first year of the Clinton Presidency) to 2011.

    The first conclusion from this table is that Federal Tax Revenues fell after the “Dot Com” bubble of 2000 and the tragedy of 9/11 in 2001. Tax revenues peaked during the last year of the Clinton Presidency at $2.026 trillion. Had tax revenues just been flat during the first three years of the Bush Presidency, despite significant growth in spending (from $1.789 trillion in Clinton’s last year to $2.160 trillion in 2003), the cumulative net outcome for those first three Bush years would have resulted in a budget surplus of $212.7 billion. But tax revenues did fall and thus the increased spending during the first three years of the Bush Presidency resulted in a cumulative deficit of $407.2 billion. Compare this outcome to the first three years of the Obama Presidency where the cumulative deficit was over ten times as high at $4.35 trillion (almost twice the cumulative deficits of the previous 16 years of the combined Clinton and Bush Presidencies). This is despite the fact that tax revenues in the first three years of the Obama Presidency were $815 billion greater than tax revenues during the first three years of the Bush Presidency.

    The second, and more critical conclusion from Table 1 is that the next four years of the Bush Presidency after the 2003 reduction in tax rates saw a 44% increase in Federal tax revenues from $1.782 trillion to $2.568 trillion. That’s correct – a 44% increase in revenues after the so-called “tax break for the wealthy.”

    The key question here is what did the wealthy contribute to this impressive increase in tax revenues? Let’s examine four income groups based on their adjusted gross income: the top 0.1% of earners representing about 129,000 tax returns in 2003 and 141,000 tax returns in 2007; the top 1% of earners representing 1,286,000 returns in 2003 and 1,411,000 returns in 2007; the top 25-50% of earners representing 32,152,000 returns in 2003 and 35,268,000 returns in 2007; and finally the bottom 50% of earners representing 64,305,000 returns in 2003 and 70,535,000 returns in 2007. Table 2 shows the total income tax and percent of total Federal tax revenues paid by each income group in 2003 and in 2007. As Table 2 shows very clearly, the top 0.1% and top 1% of earners (which includes all millionaires and billionaires) had major increases in their income tax payments between 2003 and 2007, both in absolute dollars as well as in their % contribution to total taxes while the 25-50% income group and the bottom 50% income group saw their share of total taxes fall and their absolute tax payments increased trivially. When we look at the daily cost of increased taxes for the average tax payer in each income bracket we see that the top 0.1% paid $1,887 per day more in 2007 than in 2003. (Remember this is despite the fact that their tax rates were reduced.) The top 1% of earners paid an increase of $58 per day, the top 25-50% of earners paid an extra $1 per day, and the bottom 50% paid an increase of 14 cents per day.

    So, if the top 0.1% of earners saw their tax bill increase 1,887 times more than the top 25-50% of earners (the income bracket that includes the average household income) and almost 14,000 times more than the bottom 50% of earners and if the top 1% of earners saw their tax bill increase 58 times more than the top 25-50% of earners and 414 times more than the bottom 50% of earners, where is the evidence that the wealthy were preferentially favored by the Bush tax policy changes? Despite the fact that politicians and the media repeatedly make this claim, the truth is they are simply wrong. What happened after the Bush tax cuts was accelerated growth of our economy (GDP) and a significant reduction in unemployment (See: Tax Rates, Tax Revenues and the GDP). Higher income earners earned more during the four years after the Bush tax cuts but also disproportionately increased their already disproportionate share of taxes paid.

    Table 1

    Year Tax Revenues(in Millions) Expenditures(in Millions) Surplus/Deficit(in Millions)
    1993 $1,154.0 $1,409.4 -$255.1
    1994 $1,258.6 $1,461.8 -$203.2
    1995 $1,351.8 $1,515.8 -$164.0
    1996 $1,453.1 $1,560.5 -$107.4
    1997 $1,579.2 $1,610.1 -$21.9
    1998 $1,721.7 $1,652.5 +$69.3
    1999 $1,827.5 $1,701.8 +$126.6
    2000 $2,026.2 $1,789.0 +$236.2
    2001 $1,991.1 $1,862.9 +$128.2
    2002 $1,853.1 $2,010.9 -$157.8
    2003 $1,782.3 $2,159.9 -$377.6
    2004 $1,880.1 $2,252.9 -$412.7
    2005 $2,153.6 $2,472.0 -$318.3
    2006 $2,406.9 $2,655.1 -$248.2
    2007 $2,568.0 $2,728.7 -$160.7
    2008 $2,524.0 $2,982.5 -$458.6
    2009 $2,105.0 $3,517.7 -$1,412.7
    2010 $2,162.7 $3,456.2 -$1,293.5
    2011 (estimated) $2,173.7 $3,818.8 -$1,645.1