So…who was getting a tax cut then?
During the Bush years, the Left couldn’t help but remind everyone that George Bush was giving tax cuts to the top 1% of Americans. That is true, but it doesn’t tell the entire story. The other part of that story is that under George Bush, many Americans who were not rich were getting huge tax cuts as well, so much so that many were ending up with a zero or negative tax liability. According to the graph below, since 1985 the number of Americans who have a zero or negative tax liability has been steadily rising to soon extend to over 40 million Americans:
This, of course, has adverse effects. When someone has a zero or negative tax liability then tend not to care how the government spends money, so long as they are not left with the bill. This is fatal to a functioning republic as those who think they are getting benefits from the government vote for ever increasing government intervention at the expense of those who have to pay the taxes. Speaking of which, here is another interesting graph. Notice the convergence where the number of people who pay taxes is slowly creeping above those who do not:
As the Mark Perry, the blogger who posted these graphs says:
Taken together, the data in these graphs challenge the rhetoric that the Bush tax cuts were “tax cuts for the rich,” by showing first that there were more Americans, both in total numbers and as a share of the total, who paid no tax after the Bush tax cuts than before. One could even argue that the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 were actually huge “tax cuts for the poor and middle class” because they helped to increase the number of “non-payers” by more than 14 million Americans between 2000 and 2007. Secondly, the tax burden on “the rich”—the top 1 percent of taxpayers—reached a record high in 2007 of more than 40 percent, and was higher after the Bush tax cuts than before.
I wonder how all of those poor and middle class folks will feel when their “tax cuts for the rich” expire in 2010 and they’re hit with higher taxes. Some odd reason I think Obama and his ilk will simply blame Bush for the rise in taxes.