Pawlenty’s tax plan makes Bush’s look meek

Last week, one of the more common observations was to call Tim Pawlenty’s tax-cut plan “Bush’s tax cuts on steroids.” And while that’s true, it doesn’t quite do the proposal justice.

Laura Conaway flags this rather remarkable chart, for example, which shows the benefits of the two approaches by income group. While Bush’s failed policy was heavily tilted to reward those at the very top, Pawlenty takes this to cringe-worthy lengths.

The CBPP’s Chuck Marr added, “[I]n 2013 the Pawlenty plan would give people in the top one-tenth of 1 percent on the income scale (i.e., people with incomes above $2.7 million) an average annual tax cut of $1.8 million — which is more than four times what they got last year from the Bush tax cuts.”

I’d note, by the way, that such a plan might be credible if the Bush policy was in anyway effective. In other words, if Republicans could point to Bush’s tax cuts and show evidence that they succeeded, Pawlenty could at least argue with a straight face that he hopes to expand on those successes with his own more ambitious approach.

But the Bush policy was a complete fiasco. Slate‘s Annie Lowrey tried to “find something redeeming” to say about these tax cuts, but came up empty, concluding that they’ve been “a failure in every conceivable way.”

Tim Pawlenty intends to repeat those mistakes, expand upon them, and make them significantly worse.

Jared Berntein wondered yesterday why anyone who isn’t a millionaire would find the Republican message appealing. My only response is that there are a lot of easily confused voters out there.