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Tax Returns: A Comprehensive Assessment of the Bush Administration’s Record on Cutting Taxes

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The Bush Administration has stood in favor of tax cuts through thick and thin. In the midst of a booming economy and large projected budget surpluses, President Bush’s top economic policy initiative — both as a candidate in 2000 and upon taking office — was to cut taxes. When the economy slowed, the Bush Administration’s response also was dominated by tax cuts. Now, in the face of yawning deficits and its own pledge to reduce them, the Administration has again put forward large, permanent tax cuts as part of its most recent budget.

This analysis offers a comprehensive review of the Bush Administration’s tax cuts. It assesses their costs, benefits to different income groups, and economic effects to date, as well as down the road. It both synthesizes previous findings about the individual tax measures and includes new findings about their combined effects, using new distributional analyses by the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center and fresh cost estimates by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (Washington, D.C.).