Tax cuts for the wealthiest, corporations and on capital gains; retention of the AMT.
- HR 1836 the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act was signed into law June 7, 2001. It was projected to reduce total surpluses by approximately $1.35 trillion over the 2001-2011 period. Its principal feature was a reduction spaced over the 2001 to 2006 period in the 4 highest tax brackets.
- HR 2 the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act was signed into law May 28, 2003. It increased the exemption amount for the individual alternative minimum tax (AMT), decreased the tax rates for income from dividends and capital gains, modified tax law relating to bonus depreciation and expensing, and allowed certain 2003 corporate estimated tax payments to be shifted into 2004. Its principal effects would occur in its first 5 years from 2003-2008 and would cost $342.9 billion in this period.
- HR 1308 the curiously named Working Families Tax Relief Act was signed into law October 4, 2004. Its main feature involved extensions and changes in the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. Its principal costs occurred over the 2005-2009 period and were estimated to be $122 billion.
In 2005, there was an attempt at another tax cut bill which failed. In 2006, the Republicans broke their tax cuts up into a couple of bills .
- HR 4297 was signed into law May 17, 2006. It was to cost about $70 billion, split roughly between cuts on dividends and capital gains on the one hand and cuts in the Alternate Minimum Tax (AMT) on the other.
- HR 6111 was signed into law December 20, 2006. It was a minor catchall bill extending and modifying some expiring tax provisions and was projected to cost $40 billion over the period from 2007 to 2016.
Looking over the various bills, it is likely they became increasing hard to sell over time. They certainly became smaller. Still a billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money. It’s just that after Bush got a trillion dollars for the rich in his first bill, everything else seemed small by comparison.