The economist Angry Bear continues the theme of graphically representing the distribution of benefits of the Bush tax cut. The origin of this topic is the chart on page 3 of Rep. <b.Henry Waxman</b>‘s report “The Dividend Tax Cut: Fortune 100 Corporate Executives Would Reap Huge Financial Benefits” (PDF). Incidentally, Rep. Waxman’s committee has produced another very interesting report, conveniently tabulating the estimated personal tax savings of the members of the Bush cabinet (PDF). Matthew Yglesias points out that the Waxman graph will not have the propaganda value others have hoped, because a huge number of Americans believe that they will one day be in the upper 1 percent that will benefit most. This reminds me of a David Brooks article a few months ago, which explains why this sort of argumentation doesn’t work in the United States:

The most telling polling result from the 2000 election was from a Time magazine survey that asked people if they are in the top 1 percent of earners. Nineteen percent of Americans say they are in the richest 1 percent and a further 20 percent expect to be someday. So right away you have 39 percent of Americans who thought that when Mr. Gore savaged a plan that favored the top 1 percent, he was taking a direct shot at them.</p> (PG remembered this story as well.)