"Why does tax policy increasingly
favor the rich? ... The most obvious explanation is that legislators
were becoming ever more dependent on large campaign contributions.
As the rich got richer in the 1980s and '90s, they were increasingly
willing and able to provide such contributions. Candidates need
money to run for office. If newcomers cannot appeal to donors
who can write big checks, their chances of success are slim. If
incumbents alienate big-money donors, their chances of facing
a well-financed challenge increase. Legislators who catered to
the interests of the rich therefore became more numerous. This
logic applied to Democrats as well as Republicans."
"The share of income going
to the rich today is roughly the same as it was between 1913 and
l929. The share of income going to the rich was cut in half between
l929 and 1959, with most of the decline coming between l929 and
1945. It stayed low during the 1960s and '70s. It has climbed
steadily since 1980."
"It is projected that
of the more than $100 billion of the [George W. Bush] tax cuts
set to take effect in 2005, 73 percent will go to the top 20 percent
of tax payers... Those with incomes over $1 million a year in
2005 will receive a tax cut of $135,000 a year. All those with
incomes less than $76,400 will get about $350 on average... The
Brookings and Urban Institute's Tax Policy Center estimates the
annual transfer in income to the rich and super rich flowing from
the Bush 2001-2003 tax cuts is $113 billion a year."