Press Release ● Tax and Appropriations
For Immediate Release: 
August 14, 2004
Contact Info: 
Stacey Farnen

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today regarding a new Congressional Budget Office report that shows the Bush Administration’s tax cuts have shifted the tax burden from the highest-income Americans to middle-income taxpayers:

 “Democrats have consistently and vigorously fought for tax relief for hard-working American families.  We have always believed that the tax bills pushed by the Bush Administration and Congressional Republicans unfairly favored the highest-income taxpayers over others – and today’s report by the independent, nonpartisan CBO confirms that we were correct.

 “CBO’s report documents that the share of federal taxes paid by the top 1 percent of taxpayers dropped from 22.2 percent in 2001 to 20.1 percent this year.  At the very same time, the share of taxes paid by those earning an average of $75,600 increased from 18.7 percent to 19.5 percent.  Furthermore, the CBO report shows that since 2001 the effective tax rate for the top 1 percent has dropped 6.3 percent, which is more than 12 times the reduction for middle-income taxpayers.

 “The fact is, the President’s tax plan is disproportionately skewed in favor of the highest-income taxpayers, it has served as an ineffective economic stimulus, and it has spawned record budget deficits and debt that could impede economic growth and harm the economy for years.

 “It’s highly ironic that the President and top Republican leaders in Congress have begun to talk about tax reform and simplification in the last couple of weeks.  The reality is that the Republican tax bills since 2001 have only made the tax code more complicated, adding more than 10,000 pages to the code and regulations.  Republican rhetoric on tax reform simply does not match the reality.

 “In sharp contrast, Democrats will continue to fight for real tax reform that makes our system simpler, fairer and more efficient.  We will fight to defuse the middle-class tax time-bomb – the alternative minimum tax – and we will fight to simplify tax rules for small businesses as well as international tax laws that encourage American companies to move jobs overseas.

“Voters are fed up with the complexity of our tax laws.  Democrats are committed to reform that makes our system simpler and fairer.”