One of the biggest

February 9, 2001 8:57 p.m.

One of the biggest adjustments that congressional Democrats have had to make in the last month is not having the Clinton White House there to churn out economic analyses of Republican proposals … pie-charts, data-sheets, how this or that proposal affects people in your state or your district.

There are a lot of more obvious (and, yes, more important) reasons why it’s nice to have one of your own in the Oval Office. But this one turns out to be really important. That’s made it all the more important for Democratically-inclined think tanks and policy shops to pick up the slack. And the doing more on this count than any other at the moment is the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. CBPP is turning out to be the number-crunching arsenal of the Democratic counterattack on the Bush tax plan. If you’re interested in finding out all the details about Bush’s plan their site has a series of briefing papers which give all the ugly details.

Some examples:

The one percent of the population with the highest incomes would receive between 36 percent and 43 percent of the tax cut, depending on the calculation used. The bottom 80 percent of the population would receive 29 percent of the tax cut.

Approximately 24.1 million children – 33.5 percent of all children – live in families which are excluded from the tax cut entirely.

While one-third of all children would not benefit from the Bush tax plan, more than half of black and Hispanic children would not receive any assistance. An estimated 55 percent of African-American children and 56 percent of Hispanic children live in families that would receive nothing from the tax cut.

White House officials have claimed that lower-income families would receive the largest percentage tax reductions. Such claims focus only on income taxes. Low- and moderate-income families pay more in other federal taxes – principally payroll taxes – than in income taxes. It is possible to eliminate a large percentage of the small income tax liability that many moderate-income families incur and register only a small impact on the total federal taxes that such families pay.

Again. This stuff ain’t for the faint of heart. But if you really want to understand the details of what’s going on here by all means check out their site. Start with this overview and then go from there.

For a much more bare-bones run down of the details see this graph from the Center for Tax Justice.

And to hear some of the Democrats’ counter-proposals for a progressive, across-the-board tax cut see this floor speech that Joe Lieberman gave earlier this week in the Senate.

P.S. Next up, Talking Points reveals some new info on the Democrats emerging counter-attack on the Bush tax plan.

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