President Bush's read-my-lips, no-new-taxes pledge served well enough to get him elected but was quickly discarded when it became necessary to do so once he was in office. There were new taxes -- for everyone, that is, except, well, George Bush.
Money magazine has just revealed that Bush, by skillfully traversing the arcane labyrinth of federal, state and local tax laws in the United States, has managed to escape paying state levies almost entirely -- at a time when virtually every state is compelled to raise taxes to meet the social starvation resulting from a decade of the Reagan-Bush 1981 federal tax cuts.
Even though the Bushes last year had an adjusted gross income of $452,732, they paid less than 1 percent in state and local taxes. It's all perfectly legal: Bush simply claims Texas, a low-tax state, as his official residence, even though he only maintains a rented hotel suite in that state. Were he paying taxes based on residence in Washington, where he works, or Maine, where he vacations, or Maryland, where he spends weekends, the state levy would be 10 times the pittance he pays in Texas.