A decade later, America still can't figure out what to do with the Bush-era tax cuts.
The cuts, initially enacted in 2001 and 2003, and then extended for both middle- and upper-class Americans in 2010, are a major point of contention in the debate over deficit reduction, again a hot button issue due to all the fiscal cliff drama. While Democrats are pushing for the cuts to expire on those making more than $250,000, Republicans in Congress have traditionally pushed to extend them for all Americans (though House Speaker John Boehner strayed from that a bit this weekend).
Experts estimate that the cuts have increased income inequality, drastically added to the deficit and disproportionately favored high-income earners, as seen in the charts provided by the non-partisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. If the cuts are allowed to expire on those making more than $250,000, the deficit would be reduced by $950 billion over ten years.
Here are seven charts, provided by CBPP, showing how the Bush-era tax cuts wreaked havoc on the economy: