Time magazine recently wrote a story detailing Bush's biggest economic blunders. Of course, as popular magazines often do, Time names "tax cuts for the rich" as the third-biggest blunder. Never mind that almost all agree that Bush's tax cuts helped get the country out of the 2001 recession (and that most economists agree that raising taxes during recessions is stupid), the tax cuts "for the rich" argument is simply ill-conceived.
According to the Tax Foundation, "The top 1 percent of tax filers earned about 22.8 percent of the nation's income in 2007 (the latest IRS data available) and paid 40.4 percent of all federal income taxes—more than the bottom 95 percent of tax filers combined." The Tax Foundation analyzed what it calls "just-released IRS data" and issued a report Friday.
First of all, if we go back to the pre-Bush federal income tax rate of 39.6%, we go back to confiscatory taxation. By definition, being forced to pay nearly 40 percent of your income in federal taxes is by definition confiscatory --- and I don't care if you are Bill Gates or Croesus. No one should have to pay 39.6 percent in federal income taxes. Period.
Besides, rich people still pay most income taxes.