Time to Pay the Price

Forget the tax cuts promised on the campaign trail. The tax burden is headed up, not down

Illustration by Harry Campbell

In 2002 the inimitably audacious editorial writers at the Wall Street Journal brought to the nation's attention the existence of a vast and allegedly pernicious class of "lucky duckies" who pay no federal income tax because their incomes are in sub-$40,000 territory and they qualify for one or more of the many credits added to the tax code in recent decades.

Since then, thanks to tax changes proposed and signed into law by President Bush, this impoverished yet fortunate class has only grown--to 45.6 million households, or one-third of all income tax filers, according to the Tax Foundation, a right-leaning think...

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