It's worth picking your way through Allan Sloan's Newsweek cover story "Why Your Tax Cut Doesn't Add Up" (it runs to three pages online) even if numbers make your head swim -- it makes good points about what the Republicans who run the country think is important, and worth favoring via tax law:
If Bush gets what he wants, the income tax will become a misnomer -- it will really be a salary tax. Almost all income taxes would come from paychecks -- 80 percent of income for most families, less than half for the top 1 percent. Meanwhile taxpayers receiving dividends, interest and capital gains, known collectively as investment income, would have a much lighter burden than salary earners -- or maybe none at all. And here's the topper. In the name of preserving family farms and keeping small businesses in the family, Bush would eliminate the estate tax and create a new class of landed aristocrats who could inherit billions tax-free, invest the money, watch it compound tax-free and hand it down tax-free to their heirs.
Sloan tries hard to spread the blame around, but he doesn't find much to pin on Kerry and Democrats -- Democrats in Congress have failed to adjust the alternative minimum tax and estate tax since the '80s (during which time, of course, they controlled Congress for all of two years), and some of Kerry's proposals seem as if they might not work properly. But Bush comes off far worse -- it's clear he and his administration simply think that more good derives from investment than from work.