Risky tax scheme?

Editorial Board

President Bush made another visit to Iowa Friday, this time to praise the tax cuts he just signed into law.

Bush came through with his campaign promise of across-the-board tax cuts, though the final amount was $1.35 trillion, instead of $1.6 trillion.

Nonetheless, it was a victory for Republicans and other tax cut advocates.

The new tax law, which is the first major change to the tax code in 20 years, reduces the lowest rate from 15 to 10 percent, and the highest from 39.6 to 35 percent.

This year, anyone who filed a tax return will receive a rebate; singles will get $300, single parents $500, and married couples will get a $600 rebate.

For many taxpayers, though, those checks will be the only clear benefit from Bush’s highly trumpeted tax cuts.

An analysis of the bill by Deloitte & Touche, an accounting firm, found that not all middle class families receive a big chunk of relief – a married couple with no children and an income of $60,000 will receive only $100 in tax relief over the next 10 years.

A married couple with two children with a $400,000 income, on the other hand, will get their taxes chopped 11 percent. With a $1 million income, save 13.3 percent.

It has also become clear that as a result of the bill, more taxpayers will be required to pay the Alternative Minimum Tax, a separate tax that families with lots of children and second mortgages are especially vulnerable to.

In 2004, the number of taxpayers who will be forced to pay this tax will jump from 5.3 million to 13 million.

Bush’s plan is chock full of these little twists and turns, and despite claims of the wonders of “trickle-down economics,” it will not jump-start the economy.

A middle class family of four isn’t going to go and buy a new car once that $600 dollars shows up in the mail.

The rich will do very well because of this unfair tax cut, and Bush knows he needs to pay back those who funded his campaign.

editorialboard: Michelle Kann, Tim Paluch, Jocelyn Marcus, Zach Calef, Ruth Hitchcock, Cavan Reagan