To further divide the people of the United States, President George W. Bush announced his massive tax cut plan that would take place over the next ten years. The plan includes an abolishment of the estate tax, a reduction in the capital gains tax and a reformation of tax brackets.
Bush claims that the tax relief plan is aimed at kick starting the faltering economy. Such claims are essentially empty. The tax breaks are targeted largely towards the wealthy, while also ignoring the pressing issue of the national debt. Bush”s economic policy, while touting national relief, is in fact a transparent nod to his wealthiest supporters.
Proportionally, the biggest tax break will go to families that need it the least. Poor Americans require their income for daily necessities, yet this tax cut will not provide them with a tangible increase in wealth.
A large tax faced by the wealthy, the estate tax, only applies to upper class landowners. Even when half of an inheritance is taxed, a huge sum of money is left over. In short, the effects of the tax do not place deep financial burdens on these wealthy families.
However, it does threaten the political power of rich families and the upper class. Prior to the creation of the estate tax, wealthy families were able to keep political power in the family by passing it down along with their immense and influential wealth. The estate tax limits the power of such aristocracies that tend to only work in the interests of their class and large businesses. Bush”s proposal to eliminate such a tax is a direct sign that he plans to do everything he can do to keep policy making within the upper-class aristocracy, rather than the majority of the population of working Americans and the middle class.
The reduction of the capital gains tax is another explicit benefit to the wealthiest sectors of this nation. The capital gains tax pertains to an income someone makes off investments. Investing is a trade that primarily concerns large businesses and powerful stockholders, who are the only groups that will benefit from a reduction of the capital gains tax.
Bush”s restructuring of the tax code is the final part of his overall tax plan. The plan will drop the percentage of income paid in taxes for all income levels, but will do so in an inegalitarian manner. The top tax bracket, currently 39.6 percent, will drop to 33 percent nearly a seven percent decrease while the bottom bracket will fall from 15 percent to ten percent a five percent decrease. In simple numerical terms, the wealthiest receive the largest tax cuts, but in terms of actual money, the extra two percent decrease in taxes for the wealthy equates to billions of dollars that are kept in the hands of a very small group of people.
The plan claims to benefit all sectors of society, but it is in fact a blatant attempt to serve the wealthiest five percent of the population. The elimination of the estate tax and the decreased capital gains tax, coupled with a restructured income tax bracket, essentially boil down to a huge transfer of funds from the poor to the wealthy. Though all tax-paying Americans may see smaller taxes with Bush”s plan, the underlying effect of rampantly increasing inequality will prove disastrous to this nation.
First the nation was divided coast versus heartland in the election. Then the country was divided ultra conservatives versus liberals. Now Bush has divided the classes, and placed the upper class on the offensive against the rest of the United States. One policy after another, Bush is dividing this nation in every possible way he can.