Citizens for Tax Justice, a Washington research group that tends to be sympathetic to Democratic interests, estimated that 18.7 percent of the Senate tax cut goes to people earning $44,000 to $72,000, while 31.4 percent goes to those making $72,000 to $147,000.
GRAPHIC: (B&W); MARRIAGE PENALTY The gradual elimination of the "marriage penalty" included in the Senate's $1.35 trillion tax break package would begin in 2006 and be fully implemented in 2010. Congress has been grappling with this issue for decades. * 1948. Joint filing status is created, and so is a marriage "bonus" for couples with unequal incomes. A person earning $64,000, for instance, married to someone with no income, could save more than $5,000. * 1969. After a "singles revolt," spurred in part by the activism and lifestyle changes of the 1960s, Congress passes a tax cut for singles, but in doing so, creates the marriage penalty. * 1981. Congress creates a special deduction for the second wage earner. But this tends to create marriage "bonuses," the same sort of problem that existed in 1948. * 1986. Congress repeals the second earner deduction, and the penalty returns. * 2000. Congress passes relief for married couples, but it's part of a bill President Clinton finds too expensive and too skewed toward the wealthy, so he vetoes it. * 2001. The House passes relief. The Senate plans to vote today. Source: Congressional Research Service