Shifting Responsibility: How 50 Years of Tax Cuts Have Benefited America's Wealthiest Taxpayers

For Immediate Release

Wealth for the Common Good
Contact: 

Kristi Ceccarossi
office: 617-477-8630, ext. 307
kristi@wealthforcommongood.org

Shifting Responsibility: How 50 Years of Tax Cuts Have Benefited America's Wealthiest Taxpayers

Tax Cuts for Wealthy Individuals between 2001-2008 Cost U.S. Treasury $700 Billion

BOSTON, Mass - In the wake of a Quinnipiac
University poll which found that 60 percent of Americans in both major
political parties are in favor of raising income taxes on households
making more than $250,000, a new report exposes how increases in tax
breaks over the past 50 years have favored the most affluent. The
report also details an Economic Tax Recovery Plan that would raise $450
billion in revenue by ending unfair tax benefits to the wealthiest
Americans. (Download the report: http://wealthforcommongood.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/ShiftingResponsibility.pdf)

The study, commissioned by Wealth for the Common Good (WFCG), an
organization of high-net worth individuals and business leaders, shows
in the last decade alone, individuals with incomes over $250,000 have
received more than $700 billion in tax cuts.

Key findings in the report include:

  • Over
    the last half-century, America's wealthiest taxpayers have seen their
    tax outlays, as a share of income, drop by as much as two-thirds.
    During the same period, the tax outlay for middle-class Americans has
    not decreased. 
  • America's
    highest earners - the top 400 - have seen the share of their income
    paid in federal income tax plummet from 51.2 percent in 1955 to 16.6
    percent in 2007, the most recent year with top 400 statistics available.
  • Tax
    cuts for the wealthy between 2001-2008 cost the U.S. Treasury $700
    billion and were added directly to the national debt. Retaining these
    tax cuts for another decade will cost an additional $826 billion

"After 50 years of tax cuts by Kennedy, Reagan and Bush II, the middle
class is paying the same share of income as they did in 1960. The
richest 3 percent have gotten the gargantuan share of tax cuts," said
Chuck Collins, co-founder of WFCG.

Authors of the study propose an "Economic Recovery Tax Program," which
they project will collect some $450 billion in new revenue for the
federal government through tax increases only on individuals with
household incomes of more than $250,000. This program would also
discourage financial speculation, strengthen the overall economy, and
introduce greater transparency, fairness, and simplicity to the tax
code.

This report is part of a larger campaign by Wealth for the Common Good
to end the Bush era tax cuts, which the group says could generate some
$45 billion annually in federal revenue. Nearly 300 of America's
top-earners, along with more than a thousand other Americans, have
signed the group's on-line petition calling on Congress and President
Obama to let the tax cuts on high-income taxpayers expire at the end of
2010.

Download the report: http://wealthforcommongood.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/ShiftingResponsibility.pdf

 

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Wealth for the Common Good is a network of business leaders, small business owners and wealthy individuals calling for a rebalancing of our tax system to restore fairness and responsibility.

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