President Bush will unveil his budget next week. During his State of the Union address, he said he wants Congress to make his earlier tax cuts permanent. Remember those? Remember the $1.35 trillion tax cut?
The good news was that the tax cuts were due to expire in 2010. The bad news is that President Bush wants to make them permanent, at a cost of adding another $2.2 trillion to our deficit over the next 10 years.
Now, let's be clear. Lowering taxes for those that need the most relief is a good idea. But for people like me, tax cuts are a waste of money that could go to worthier causes. Bush's tax cut gave the top 1% tax relief nearly 90 times larger than those in the middle 20%. That's not only unfair, it's a waste.
If you want to have a real impact on real people, shift the cuts toward those that need them most. Not to people like me.
President Bush's tax cut plan was ideologically-motivated and full of inequities.
Case in point: the repeal of the estate tax. Can anyone defend the idea of giving someone like me, with an estate potentially valued in the billions of dollars, a multi-billion dollar tax cut? What am I going to do with that money? My family will have much more than enough even after a 50% inheritance tax.
The estate tax should not be eliminated; the exemption should be raised to the neighborhood of $10 million for a couple, so the family farmers and small businesses aren't hurt as much like they have been in the past. But get real: can anyone reasonably argue that someone with a $100 million estate needs tax relief? How about a $1 billion? It's absurd.
There wasn't nearly enough debate on this issue the first time around. I hope there's more debate this time around, and I hope Congress not only says "no" to making these cuts permanent, but they reform some of the worst inequities of the current law, starting with the estate tax.