Most Americans have a fairly strong opinion of former President George W. Bush, either for or against his eight-year reign. One thing that all Americans can agree on, however, is that he was a serial tax cutter, with tax reduction as one of the cornerstones of his economic policy. Many of these tax cuts were enacted with sunset provisions, meaning they were embedded with predetermined expiration dates, many of which are coming up in 2011 and 2012. These sunset provisions were placed in the tax laws in some cases to garner enough legislative support to get the bills passed, or to get around rules that existed on cutting revenue without passing an offsetting spending cut.
The two major tax-cutting bills from the Bush era were the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (EGTRRA) of 2001, and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003.
These two laws cut taxes across the board for earned income, long-term capital gains and dividends. The legislation also expanded the child tax credit and made dozens of other changes and adjustments to the tax code, involving exemptions, deductions and the marriage penalty.
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