Decamillionaires Finally Getting a Break

Some real gems in the latter half of the New York Times’s special section on taxes this Sunday, which ran through some of the preliminary results — and future consequences — of the Bush administration’s changes to the tax code. The data supports Nicholas Confessore’s claim that the Bush tax plan represents an essential repudiation of the notion “that taxation should be as broad-based as possible.” Among the article’s findings:

If President Bush’s tax cuts are made permanent, people in the bottom 99 percent of income charts will get a tax cut smaller than their share of income from 2001 to 2015. The top one-tenth of 1 percent of Americans will get tax cuts that are about twice their share of national income.

More than a quarter of all Bush tax cuts will go to the top one-half of 1 percent — the 1.4 million Americans with incomes of $581,000 or more.

In 2002, those who made $10 million or more paid an actual tax rate 26.1 percent of their income in federal income taxes. The 400 highest-income Americans paid 18 percent. Those who earned $500,000 to $1 million paid 27.9 percent.

When both income and payroll levies like those for Social Security are counted, Americans making as little as $100,000 paid a larger share of their income in taxes in 2002 than those making more than $10 million. Those making $100,000 to $200,000 paid 20.6 percent of their income in these taxes, compared with 20.1 percent for those in the $10 million-and-up group.

As White House spokesman Trent Duffy says, “Any way you slice it, the president’s tax cut made the system more progressive.”