As Americans scramble to file their tax returns by the April 15 deadline, a new tax study got us angry.

A New York Times analysis of Internal Revenue Service data shows that President Bush’s tax cuts for investors “have significantly lowered the tax burden on the richest Americans, reducing taxes on incomes of more than $10 million by an average of about $500,000.” Combined with Bush’s other tax cuts, this tiny group of fat cats saved over $1 million on their taxes. Notes the Times, “The top one-tenth of 1 percent of taxpayers got 43 percent of the benefit.”

Those who benefit the most from this country’s bounty and the labor of its workers get the tax breaks in Bushworld.

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the tax cuts enacted since 2001 are “exacerbating the concentration of after-tax income at the top of the income scale.

Is it OK that the guy who mops the floor at Exxon Mobil headquarters and the gal who operates an oil rig basically foot the bill for Exxon Mobil executives?

Is it just that U.S. soldiers fighting in Afghanistan or Iraq carry the burden of paying for the Halliburton trucks they give their blood to protect, while the corporation mobilizes its army of lawyers and accountants to, in fact, write the tax laws? Can it be any wonder that Halliburton’s one-year profits exceed the budget of entire cities?

And the military budget now claims 53 cents of every tax dollar deducted from workers’ paychecks. Certainly peace would be more cost effective.

Our tax laws and federal spending priorities cry out for basic change, around a few simple themes: Tax the rich. End loopholes for the wealthy and big business. Slash military spending. Eliminate corporate/military/government crony corruption.

In every congressional district this year, candidates will be holding forums, peace and economic justice groups and union will be meeting, and churches and block clubs will bring taxpayers together. Ending Bush’s tax handouts to the super-rich and democratic tax reform both deserve a spot on their agendas.

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