Not Getting By

Somebody’s getting rich off of George W. Bush’s tax scheme. According to a recent AP report that looked at his tax records, the resident of the White House gave himself a tax break of over $41,000 in 2003. This figure is only slightly lower than the median household income for 2002 (latest figures available), according to the US Census Bureau. The nation’s officially recorded median household money income declined 1.1 percent in real terms to $42,409 in 2002 (and by 1.7 percent in 2001). This came to a loss of $720 last year, or nearly a month’s supply of groceries for a smaller family.

Since median income means that one-half of all incomes (and the people receiving them) were lower than $42,409, Bush took in one tax cut more than many families took in all year. Not a bad haul for lifting a pen to sign a bill into law. Perhaps he plans to do better next time.

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, about 1.7 million more people were in poverty in 2002 than in 2001 raising the total to 34.6 million and the official poverty rate from 11.7 percent in 2001 to 12.1 percent in 2002. Nearly 3 million new people have become poor since Bush took office.

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