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· December 6, 2012

Research shows that the richest two percent have benefited the most from the Bush tax cuts

In July, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) released a report that measured the tax benefits from the Bush tax cuts and which Americans were receiving them. Their findings reinforce what most of us have been feeling for some time – the greatest benefit from these cuts went to the wealthiest few, while the rest of Americans received significantly less benefit.

In their report the CBPP calculated the average value of the tax cuts per household since 2004 using data from the Tax Policy Center. In a report that will be released later tomorrow, Innovation Ohio used these calculations to look at what percentage of these tax cuts went to which households. As you can see in the chart below, our findings show that households that made over $200,000 a year received 73 percent of all tax benefits from the Bush tax cuts. This left the remaining 27 percent of benefits to be split between 98 percent of all households in America.

This was and currently is the economic ideology of the Republican party — cut rates for the wealthiest earners at the expense of middle  and low-income workers and hope that they don’t notice that they are getting the short-end of the deal. With income inequality growing significantly over the last decade, and the Bush tax cuts being a tool to transfer more wealth to the very well off, it is telling that congressional Republicans are insisting that rates cannot increase on the top two percent. Defending the Bush tax rates for the wealthiest two percent makes it clear who Republicans are looking out for. President Obama in his recent proposal to reach a deal on the deficit put forth a plan that raises the top rates for the richest two percent but keeps the Bush tax cut in place for the other 98 percent of Americans. The president and Congressional Democrats understand that to protect entitlements like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, we have to ask the wealthiest in America to pay a little more. Considering that they have been the main beneficiaries of economic policy over the last nine years, this only seems fair.

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