After-tax income, Federal tax burden, tax policies of Reagan, G.H. Bush, and Clinton administrations


Findings of this study show that the lowest- and middle-income households overall and those with children had lower total effective Federal tax rates during the Clinton administration than during the Reagan and G.H. Bush administrations. Concomitantly, the top one percent and highest income quintile households overall, those with children, and those headed by an elderly person age 65 or older without children had higher total effective Federal tax rates during the Clinton administration. Nearly every category of household type and income level measured in this study had more after- Federal-tax income during the Clinton administration than either the Reagan or G.H. Bush administrations. The study also found that the shares of after-Federal-tax income were equitable across the three presidential administrations for the lowest-income quintile households with children, while the share of after-Federal-tax income for middle-income quintile households with children actually declined during the Clinton administration. The study concludes by noting that where it counts most for individuals and families, namely in the amount of after-tax money available to households, there were no differences by presidential administration during the post- Reagan era among low-income households and where differences were found for middle-income households, they were opposite what more liberal or less centrist-left Democrats would have hoped for.

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