We are talking about the “Bush tax cuts” now because the law that created them expires at the end of the year. While a long and complicated law, it generally decreases taxes on wealthier people in certain circumstances.
The law we are operating under is called the “Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010.” It was passed by a Democratically controlled Congress on December 16, 2010, and signed into law on by President Barack Obama on December 17, 2010.
The “Bush” of the “Bush tax cuts” was resting comfortably in Texas during all this and had nothing to do with any of it. The term first came into use when Bush was president. The original basic tax cuts were enacted by the “Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001,” when he was in office.
But we had an election and he’s gone. The common name survives.
The label conveniently allows current legislators and the incumbent president to pass the buck, thereby maintaining the dubious claim that Democrats differ from Republicans on key revenue practices.
Several reports are indicating that if re-elected Obama will press again for an extension of the “Bush tax cuts.”