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Death and Taxes | The Nation

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Katrina vanden Heuvel

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Politics, current affairs and riffs and reflections on the news.

Death and Taxes

Those inveterate whiners in the White House are now complaining that the president's poll numbers should be much higher given the strong economic indicators at the moment. Their problem may lie in the fact that average Americans--the vast majority of the population--aren't the ones enjoying the benefits of Bush's trickle down tax policies.

The New York Times recently analyzed IRS data on the Bush tax cuts on dividends and capital gains. Here is the money quote: "Taxpayers, whose average income was $26 million, paid about the same share of their income in income taxes as those making $200,000 to $500,000because of the lowered rates on investment income."

To find an individual example, one needs look no further than the Cheneys. In 2005, Dick and Lynne received a huge tax rebate on their $8.8 million income, largely because most of that money was the result of exercising Halliburton stock options.

Talk about death and taxes.

But not to worry, it gets worse.

To cover the tax breaks for investment, Congress recently refused to extend the patch on the alternative minimum tax. The AMT patch is complicated but what it means is that "one in four families with children--up from one in 22 last year--will owe up to $3,640 in additional federal income tax come next April."

Happy Tax Season.


Nation Event Note

The Nation is visiting Yale University on Wednesday, April 26, 2006. Click here for details on a free public event, sponsored by the Roosevelt Institute, featuring Nation editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel.

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