In the end, Cheney’s voice was the only one that mattered. In April 2003, when the bill reached the floor, the Senate deadlocked 50-50. The vice president cast the deciding “aye” that moved the tax cut into law. The benefits were even more tilted to the rich than the first Bush tax cuts. When fully phased in, 53 percent of the new cuts went to the top one percent. Those making $10 million or more pocketed an average of $1 million a year – twice the haul they made from the earlier cuts, and every cent of it borrowed. “It was a deficit-financed tax cut,” concedes Hubbard, who chaired Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers.
The deal privileged gambling on stocks over working for a living: The tax rate the richest pay on their long-term capital gains was slashed by 25 percent, while their rate on dividends fell by almost 60 percent. The move not only fueled speculation of Wall Street, it further widened the considerable gap between rich and poor. “It was a very destructive combination to have a national economic policy that stimulated debt-financed capital gains and then taxed the windfall at the lowest rate imaginable,” says Stockman. “That contributed, clearly, to the growing imbalance in household income and wealth.”
It’s a long read, but it covers how the party shifted priorities and principles over the years, and now really does just cynically claim the wealthy are the only reason the country exists (i.e. Job Creators).
If you haven’t been following this stuff for a while, much of this might come as a surprise, but the history is all there, and now it’s just ignorant to claim the GOP (economically) stands for anyone who isn’t already extremely wealthy. Sadly, one thing we don’t have a shortage of in this country is ignorance…which leaves a lot of people blaming “both sides” for the scorched-earth policies of only one of them.