From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Bush's war on the middle class

August 14, 2004 9:13 PM

How has the tax burden shifted since the Bush tax cuts? The Congressional Budget Office just released these figures -- the percentage change in the tax burden by average income:

$1,100,000: -2.1%
$182,700: -0.9%
$75,600: +0.8%
$51,500: +0.2%
$34,200: -0.1%
$14,900: -0.1%

The Bush team's response to their guy shifting the tax burden to the middle class? The Democrats requested the report.

More from the archive in Bush, Economy.

Bush's war on the middle class (08.14.2004)

Next Entry: Are prisons immoral? ... or is it just Americans? (08.15.2004)
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Read the 12 comments.

Robby:

The top 20% of the people pay 80% of the taxes. How much should they pay?

Mon Aug 16 2004 7:01 AM


Jim Gilliam:

Actually, if you read the article, the CBO says that the top 20% pay only 63.5% of the taxes.

But I agree with you, 80% sounds about right.

Mon Aug 16 2004 8:00 AM


agrant:

My brother made an interesting entry to our blog about this. He claims that it's not Bush's tax cuts that are increasing the burden to the middle class:

"Its simply because incomes are assumed to INCREASE by 4.5% per year - thus bringing more people into higher tax brackets every year."

He may be right, but he makes the claim as evidence of the media's liberal bias. Something I just don't buy...

Mon Aug 16 2004 6:02 PM


Kieth:

The devil is in the details. The Income Tax Burden is in the area discussed above, top 20% pay about 80%. In fact, the top 52% pay about 98% of all income taxes. Interestingly enough the cut-off for top 50% is around 50K / year of earned income.

Now the shift reported in Washington Post article is the tax burden when you take into consideration the inclusion of payroll taxes - social security etc… Here the numbers are accurate. This is because payroll taxes cap out at around 80K / year (I think). Thus, if you make 50K to 80K / year a higher percentage of your income will go to taxes as compared to anyone who makes over 80K / year.

The shift is not due to the Bush Tax plan. It is the result of the current laws capping payroll taxes. I would think the current structure actually hurts those making under 50K / year because a very large percentage of their earnings goes to payroll taxes than the middle to upper class. The results in the article surprised me.

Tue Aug 17 2004 12:38 PM


Tony Prentakis:

Let's Privatize the National Debt

Seriously: let's split the check. The national debt is over $7 trillion. It's called the national debt because it's the nation -- us 280 million Americans -- who owe the money. Each of us is $25K in hock to the bondholders, "on average".

The debt is the accumulation of government deficits. Reduce tax revenue and you raise the debt. If you reduce revenue by cutting the "average" person's taxes by $1000 and simply add $1K to the "average" person's share of the debt you are not doing him a favor. You are simply giving him an advance on his own credit card.

Unfortunately, his tax cut is explicit and individual, but his debt is not. So let's _make_ it explicit. Let's establish a "privatized debt account" at the US Treasury for each American. It would be much like your Visa account. Annually you'd get a statement that says:

Your outstanding balance is $25K.
Your minimum payment due is $1K, which is interest only.
Feel free to send in more if you want to pay down your balance.

That last bit is important: you could pay down _your_ balance -- and not mine. If you pay off your entire balance in your lifetime, your kids (unlike mine) do not inherit your debt. More choice about "your own money"! Republicans should love it!

Except, of course, that if we seriously tried to divvy up the debt on a per-capita basis, the poor could not afford to even pay their interest. The bondholders would not stand for _that_. So even Republicans would have to accept progressivity on the debt.

They would then be in the delicious position of acknowledging that the rich ought to owe more of the debt, but insisting they should pay less in taxes -- which is how we got into debt in the first place. And the "average" person would see, in his annual privatized debt statement, how much his own balance went up each year, partly due to tax cuts.

No, the privatize-everything crowd is not about to go for privatizing the national debt. Which is why we ought to sweetly, innocently hammer them with it.

Thu Aug 19 2004 2:01 PM


Bill:

If 10% of the people in the United States own 90% of the wealth, it should only be fair that these people pay 90% of the taxes.

Fri Mar 17 2006 7:21 PM


rusty rooster:

Why is the middle class not fighting back?
Why are we who are greater in numbers not
organized? This is one working slug who
would gladly pay his expenses for a middle
class march on Washington.

Thu Mar 30 2006 9:23 PM


J Jordan:

The illegal aliens can organize and march successfully.
Why can’t the middle class do the same?
They are waiting for another disaster ! Than cry and
Pretend we are all brothers again.
And than back to push, shove and bitch
And do nothing. Go Bush couple years those
Oil profits will be fine for a good retirement.

Wed May 3 2006 6:43 PM


Anonymous:

I am so ashamed that I wasted my vote on george war bush. What was I thinking? Why did I let my right wing extremist, neo-conservative, neo-evangelical thinking get in the way of exercising sound personal judgment? Growing up, I was led to believe that the republican party was a grass roots party of the people & for the people. In retrospect, it is clear that the last 3 presidents produced by the republican party were nothing more then the rich man’s rich man hiding under the disguise of the overly misused term, “conservative”. The economic dark ages of reagonomics fleeced the middle and lower classes of this county simply to benefit the rich and wealthy. George warmonger bush has quietly shifted this country back to those economic dark ages. Bush inherited a strong economy and squandered that real quick. And even though 9 -11 did happen, none of bush’s reckless decisions are in any way justified by that day in history. It is clear that he never had any real salient foreign & domestic policies when he became president in 2000. Now we have 4 more years of neoconservative republican lies and a growing body count overseas. When are people going to wake up to the truth that neoconservative political philosophy does not work for anyone but the rich and wealthy at the top? When are people in the USA going to wake up to the fact that neoconservative republican political philosophy does not even cross paths with reality? Anyone who believes george war bush’s lies about promoting democracy in these middle eastern Islamic states is living in serious denial of reality. Those who believe bush’s lies are simply easy pickins and victims of logical fallacies. Historians and political scholars realize that to impose such changes on another country takes decades and that is only if it seriously adopted. Also, the very definition of democracy is not something that the United States has any claim of ownership. Even some communist states think that what they have is democracy. If we ever actually do get out of Iraq, nothing will have changed and nothing will have been gained. The American people have never been given a specific objective in Iraq or a clear definition of exactly what victory in Iraq is from the president. Invading Iraq never had anything to do with, WMD, freeing the Iraqi people or making Americans safer and secure. Statements about WMD, Freeing Iraq or Making America Safer are nothing more then a marketing spin used to hide the ugly truth and make the lies palatable to the American public and justifiable to the red necks who voted for him. Bush likes to make statements such as “It’s worth the price” but he never says just what exactly “it” is. If he really believes that, then he should put his money where his mouth is and send his little party animals to go fight in Iraq. The republican party claims to be for smaller less wasteful government but the current administration is responsible for the waste of more money, resources and human lives then any past democrat presidency. I have a hard time sleeping at night knowing that the blood of Americans and innocent civilians is on my hands and the hands of those who voted for george warmonger bush. The real legacy of the bush cabinet is going to be one characterized by lots of wrongful deaths, lots of money and resources wasted, unnecessary tax increases for our children and grandchildren and the unnecessary destruction of various social programs that good decent people count on. Thanks to bush and his power hungry cabinet who all want to control congress, the senate & the supreme court, the USA is now a third world country hiding under the disguise of prosperity. Now that the USA owes all these hundreds of millions of dollars to countries like China, Germany, Russia & Japan, I wonder which language I need to learn for the day when these countries come to collect…

Looks like it is once again up to Democrats to clean up the messes made by republicans. I'll never make the mistake of voting republican again. Farwell for the memories GOP. I'm now a Democrat.

-Leroy

Thu Aug 31 2006 6:07 PM


chris meade:

both parties are bought and paid for.If you own both dogs in a race , you can not loose. It is time we need a third party.

Wed Dec 20 2006 8:52 PM


Tyler Goines:

It appears that we are now the hunted in our own lands.
Who do these people think they are? They can publicly talk about a war on us. They must be very comfortable in the fact we value TV and the internet more then we value our freedoms.
I want to congratulate everyone on laying still long enough to get these fools to step out of line.

Now lets show them what war really is……… They will more than likely win. Let’s cost them as much as we can. Do as much damage as possible. Stage rallies, hold demonstrations, do anything you can think of. Be creative. We DICTATE to the government how to conduct themselves….. Not the other way around. The news reports that the war on terror is the second most costly in American history. Second only to WWII. Let’s change that fact.
We need more of you letter writers stepping up the ante. If you write to three government officials ten times a month, we need 6 government officials twenty times a month. Those of you who would take it up a notch…….. Violence isn’t the answer, but who am I to dictate to you how to live. If you insist you are here for more than writing letters Do everything you can to avoid killing or hurting anyone. Remember we are not here to kill Americans, we’re setting them free of tyranny.
You don’t have to touch a man to knock him down………… Turn the soil into mud, turn the ice into water, turn the sand into dust and they will sink in the quagmire.

The system tries to convince people that rebellion means end of days. How arrogant. There will be people, a working government and Americans long after we are free of the system.

Still x Waiting = 41


- Tyler Goines
05 08 07

PS : www.archives.gov read the Declaration of Independence


Tue May 8 2007 10:37 PM


Tyler Goines:

It appears that we are now the hunted in our own lands.
Who do these people think they are? They can publicly talk about a war on us. They must be very comfortable in the fact we value TV and the internet more then we value our freedoms.
I want to congratulate everyone on laying still long enough to get these fools to step out of line.

Now lets show them what war really is……… They will more than likely win. Let’s cost them as much as we can. Do as much damage as possible. Stage rallies, hold demonstrations, do anything you can think of. Be creative. We DICTATE to the government how to conduct themselves….. Not the other way around. The news reports that the war on terror is the second most costly in American history. Second only to WWII. Let’s change that fact.
We need more of you letter writers stepping up the ante. If you write to three government officials ten times a month, we need 6 government officials twenty times a month. Those of you who would take it up a notch…….. Violence isn’t the answer, but who am I to dictate to you how to live. If you insist you are here for more than writing letters Do everything you can to avoid killing or hurting anyone. Remember we are not here to kill Americans, we’re setting them free of tyranny.
You don’t have to touch a man to knock him down………… Turn the soil into mud, turn the ice into water, turn the sand into dust and they will sink in the quagmire.

The system tries to convince people that rebellion means end of days. How arrogant. There will be people, a working government and Americans long after we are free of the system.

Still x Waiting = 41


- Tyler Goines
05 08 07

PS : www.archives.gov read the Declaration of Independence

Wed May 9 2007 9:04 AM


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