The Bush Tax Cuts in Charts, Part 1

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorites tells many a budget story with pictures. Below are a few of the Center's best charts on the tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 under President Bush, extended in 2010 under President Obama, and now set to expire in January.

The first chart makes a simple point: these tax cuts are expensive. As the chart shows, the Bush tax cuts have been a key driver of the federal deficit and will account for $4.5 trillion in deficits over the 2009-2019 period if extended.

Economic Downturn and Legacy of Bush Policies Drive Record Deficits

Continuing the Bush tax cuts would add trillions more to future federal deficits. As the second chart shows, the high-income tax cuts — those on incomes above $250,000 for a married couple filing jointly or $200,000 for singles — are a big reason why. Allowing the high-income tax cuts to expire would reduce deficits by $950 billion (including the interest savings) over the next 10 years.

Allowing High-Income Tax Cuts to Expire Would Reduce Deficits by $950 Billion Over 10 Years

These figures do not even include the estate tax cut, which benefits only the wealthiest 0.3% of estates and costs an additional $141 billion over 10 years (including interest costs), according to the Office of Management and Budget.

We'll post more charts tomorrow to put the Bush tax cuts in greater perspective as negotiations continue over the federal budget.


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