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The Dividend Tax Is Coming! Run!

Conservative attempts to conflate the economic interests of the rich with the non-rich usually involve some subtle rhetorical or arithmetical sleight of hand. Yesterday's Wall Street Journal editorial employs the more straightforward technique of simple, blunt untruth:

All of this increases the likelihood that the Senate budget resolution dividend tax rate of 39.6% will become law next year. The millions of Americans who receive dividend income—most of them not rich— need to begin adjusting their investment strategy accordingly.

Chuck Marr of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities points out:

The “not rich” millions can put down their phones. The Senate budget resolution assumes that for middle-class filers, the dividend tax rate will remain as it is today: zero for people in the 10 and 15 percent brackets (i.e., the large majority of filers) and 15 percent for all other couples whose income is below $250,000 (or below $200,000 for singles).
To be sure, the budget resolution does assume that the dividend rate would return to 39.6 percent for people above the $250,000 threshold. But that’s the same rate that prevailed during the 1990s, when people at the upper end of the income scare did rather well.