Bush Tax Cuts

The cuts lowered tax rates across the board on income, dividends and capital gains; eventually eliminated the estate tax; further lowered burdens on married couples, parents and the working poor; and increased tax credits for education and retirement savings. Obama’s proposal would extend most of these reductions, allowing only those for individuals making more than $200,000 and families making more than $250,000 to expire.

Complicating the debate is a gloomy economic and fiscal outlook, one that is decidedly different from the rosy scenario that prevailed at the beginning of the last decade. That outlook has given rise to a number of stubborn myths about what extending the Bush tax cuts would — or wouldn’t — do.