Bush Tax Cut Designed to Assist the Wealthiest and Boost GOP 2004 Re-Election Bid
Interview with Joel Friedman, senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
In a Jan. 7 speech at the Economic Club of Chicago, President Bush unveiled his economic stimulus plan -- a proposal for $647 billion in tax cuts over the next 10 years. The largest break would go to corporate shareholders whose stock dividends would no longer be subject to federal tax. Other features of the package include an across the board rollback of tax rates, a reduction in the marriage tax penalty and a boost in credits for families with children.
Opposition to the White House tax proposal was immediate with charges from critics that Mr. Bush's plan was skewed to benefit the wealthiest Americans while doing little to assist the ailing economy. Opponents point out that the plans'middle class tax cuts are temporary, while the elimination of taxes on corporate dividends -- largely benefiting the wealthiest sector - are permanent. The states, already facing their worst fiscal crisis since World War II, stand to lose $4 billion to $5 billion in revenue from any elimination of the federal tax on dividends.
Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Joel Friedman, senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, who assesses the likely impact of President Bush's proposed $647 billion tax cut and the political calculus that may have gone into its formulation.
Contact the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities by calling them at (202) 408-1080 or visit their Web site at: www.cbpp.org
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