Bush tax cuts
When former President George W. Bush was in office, he signed tax changes into law in 2001 and 2003. These provisions quickly became known as the Bush tax cuts.
They added a new, lower 10 percent tax bracket and cut the tax rate for the highest-income earners to 35 percent. The tax rate on capital gains and certain dividends also were cut. Now the top rate is 15 percent and taxpayers in the 10 percent and 15 percent tax brackets don't owe any capital gains taxes at all on profits.
The tax cuts were scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, 2010, but Congress and the Obama administration agreed to keep them in place through 2012.
Now as the current tax laws near yet another expiration date and presidential campaigns hit high gear, the tax policy debate is intensifying, too.
And the 43rd president has said that he wishes the tax laws didn't bear his name.
"I wish they weren't called the Bush tax cuts," Bush said during an address at an April 9 tax policy conference. "If they were called some other body's tax cuts, they'd probably be less likely to be raised."