Fairly Rich Irony

Apparently blue state Democrats, who a couple of months ago were bashing Bush for his "tax cuts for the rich", have a new-found concern about...taxes being too high on the rich.  Specifically, as in this post on BlogCritics, the AMT is apparently hurting blue state rich folks disproportionately:

There is certainly a measure of rich irony in hearing stalwart Democrat Congressman Marty Meehan fretting (in front of microphones and camera of course) that the Bush administration's future tax policies will hit the well-to-do among his constituents. Says Meehan, "if this tax is not fixed, virtually every four person family in Massachusetts making $75,000 a year will have its taxes automatically increased by the AMT".

Duh.  I have been saying for years that the AMT, particularly without indexing, will soon constitute a huge stealth tax increase.  Which is why I hate this kind of unprincipled partisanship out of the Republicans:

Some Republicans have suggested leaving the minimum tax in place because those hardest hit tend to be in states that did not support Bush, including Massachusetts, California, and New York. "˜"˜It is a tax of people living in "˜blue' states,'' said Grover Norquist, the conservative activist who heads Americans for Tax Reform.

Wrong.  Taxes on the rich, even with recent tax cuts, are unbelievably high, even after the Bush tax cuts.  As I wrote here, the wealthiest 10% already pay 2/3 of the income taxes.  It is time for AMT reform.

  • Max Lybbert

    It will probably be some time before I have to even worry about paying the AMT, if ever, but it did always strike me as unfair: "Here are some deductions and credits, but if you take advantage of them, we might take them away." It suprised me when Bush's tax cuts made it possible for some families to trigger the AMT by using the increased standard deduction. And I was amazed that tax-and-spend members of Congress actually opposed changing the AMT so that would not happen.

    If the tax has to stay around, it ought to be automatically indexed in such a way that tax cuts don't raise the risk of getting hit by AMT.