Year-by-Year Analysis of the Bush Tax Cuts Shows Growing Tilt To the Very Rich

June 12, 2002 05:25 PM | | Bookmark and Share

A new study released today by Citizens for Tax Justice and the Children’s Defense Fund reveals for the first time who stands to benefit from the 2001-enacted Bush tax cuts in each year from 2001 through 2010. Among the key findings:

  • Over the ten-year period, the richest Americans—the best-off one percent—are slated togwb0602a.gif - 10559 Bytes receive tax cuts totaling almost half a trillion dollars. The $477 billion in tax breaks the Bush administration has targeted to this elite group will average $342,000 each over the decade.
  • By 2010, when (and if) the Bush tax reductions are fully in place, an astonishing 52 percent of the total tax cuts will go to the richest one percent—whose average 2010 income will be $1.5 million. Their tax-cut windfall in that year alone will average $85,000 each. Put another way, of the estimated $234 billion in tax cuts scheduled for the year 2010, $121 billion will go just 1.4 million taxpayers.
  • Although the rich have already received a hefty down payment on their Bush tax cuts—averaging just under $12,000 each this year—80 percent of their windfall is scheduled to come from tax changes that won’t take effect until after this year, mostly from items that phase in after 2005.
  • In contrast, the vast majority of taxpayers have already received most of their tax cuts from the 2001 legislation.
    • For the four out of five families and individuals making less than $73,000 this year, three-quarters of the tax cuts—averaging about $350 this year—are already in place.
    • Tax cuts for the 19 percent of taxpayers making between $73,000 and $356,000 this year will grow a little over the next four years as the cuts in the upper tax rates continue to kick in, but then will dwindle thereafter. By 2010, the tax cuts for this group will be no bigger as a share of income than they are now.
  • As a result, freezing the Bush tax cuts at their 2002 levels would have little or no effect on 99 percent of the taxpayers, whose tax cuts are already mostly or completely “frozen.” Only the best-off one percent of the taxpayers will receive significant additional tax cuts if the rest of the Bush tax program continues to be implemented.

Click here to see this analysis in PDF format.

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