To cut or not to cut?Submitted by Elisabeth Mon Dec 06 2010 14:44:00 GMT-0500 (EST)
With the lame-duck session of Congress winding down, one of the key decisions that will be made before they adjourn for the holidays is whether to extend the “Bush tax cuts” -- the huge cuts enacted when our nation was running a surplus early in the George W. Bush Administration.
This debate is proving to be a fascinating discussion coming on the heels of voters ongoing concerns about the economy, big money in politics and ethics in Washington.
The fight centers on the cuts for about the upper two percent of all taxpayers, those with incomes over $250,000. During this recession, nearly all agree that the cuts for the lower 98 percent should remain in place.
To put this fight in context, here are some interesting figures:
• From 1974 to 2007, the share of income going to the wealthiest one percent of Americans went from 9 percent to 23.5 percent.
• Since 1980, the share of income going to the bottom 90 percent declined from 65 percent to 52 percent.
In other words, over the last three decades, we have seen a substantial redistribution of income toward the wealthiest among us.
For an organization like the League, which believes in progressive taxation, the message is clear – there is no justification for cutting taxes for the wealthiest 2 percent, especially at a time of large federal deficits. Extending these tax cuts would add about one trillion dollars to the federal budget deficit over ten years.