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Candidates: do you want to extend the 2003 tax cuts?

ASK THIS | April 29, 2006

The House and Senate elections aren’t far off; reporters should be preparing basic questions. On taxes, the fate of the 2003 tax cuts is a main issue right now.

By Morton Mintz

(For incumbents and challengers in House and Senate elections)
Q. Do you feel the 2003 tax cuts were fair, and were they designed to increase the ability of most Americans to buy necessities and other items and thus boost the economy?

Q. The biggest current federal taxation issue is whether Congress should extend the 2003 capital gains and dividend tax cuts. Should they be extended?

Under the 2003 tax cuts, households with incomes of about $75,000 got an annual average cut of $400, those with $50,000 incomes less than $200, and those with $30,000 incomes almost nothing.

By contrast, households with incomes of around $1 million – the top 1 percent – received cuts of nearly $25,000 a year. Roughly one in three households live on $25,000 a year or even less.

Source: In an article in the Washington Spectator, writer Doug Henwood attributed the above estimates to Citizens for Tax Justice. A spokesman for that group said in an email that “the numbers appear to be broadly accurate.” (Click here for a Citizens for Tax Justice analysis of the 2003 tax cut.)

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