Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Five tax breaks Washington has given the rich

The nation's tax policy has helped the rich keep more of their income. But the middle class isn't taking advantage of the same benefits.

Helping the rich
Helping the rich
The 2012 election is already shaping up to be a war of the classes...and much of the battle centers around taxes.

President Obama is demanding that the rich chip in more to boost the nation's coffers.

The Republican candidates are pushing for lower tax rates, which they say will boost the economy. They also want to reduce or eliminate capital gains taxes, a move that generally benefits the wealthy.

Taxes have played a major role in the widening divide between the rich and poor in recent years, according to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service.

CNNMoney looks at some of the big tax gifts Washington has given the richest Americans.

By Tami Luhby @CNNMoney - Last updated February 15 2012: 9:58 AM ET
Government assistance expands

More than a third of Americans lived in households receiving government assistance in mid-2010.