[UPDATE]: Or as they put it at Dailykos,Republicans want the middle class to pay for tax cuts for the rich. Link to the report.
There’s an almost universal belief in the myth that everyone’s taxes have been going up for the last 40 or so years. It’s simply not true. What is true is that taxes on the 99% have been going up, and their wages have been flat or going down. While for the wealthy the exact opposite has been happening, taxes down, income way up. And there’s always an elected GOP millionaire, whose taxes have been lowered over recent decades, squawking about how the government is spending like a drunken sailor, and running up a massive deficit. Of which they have played a role.
It’s this myth, that’s kept many from seeing the truth behind the GOP’s class warfare since the Reagan-era began. The GOP tax plan has always been to shift the tax burden from the wealthy to the rest of us. And it continues, Soak The Middle Class.
This time around, Democrats on the Joint Economic Committee, with the help of data from the Tax Policy Center, take a look at the House GOP tax plan in Paul Ryan’s budget, and reach an important conclusion: If he honors his commitment to keeping his plan revenue neutral, middle class taxpayers will see their tax burden increase, while the wealthiest Americans will enjoy a huge tax cut.
The idea is pretty straightforward.
Republicans want to dramatically lower the top tax rate and eliminate brackets so there are only two — one at 25 percent, one at 10 percent. That would put a huge amount of cash in the pockets of high income earners. For middle class earners, it’d be a much more modest sum. To make the plan revenue neutral, Ryan claims Republicans would close myriad loopholes that disproportionately benefit the upper-middle and upper classes — he just won’t say which ones.
The rub is that Ryan’s tax cuts are expensive and to pay for them he’d likely have to clawback the biggest middle-class tax benefits — like the mortgage interest deduction, and the tax exclusion on employer health benefits — such that the net effect for people making less than $200,000 would be a higher annual tax burden. The plan redistributes wealth upwards.
Here’s how Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConell put it in an interview with CBS that aired Monday, “Almost 70 percent of the federal revenue is provided by the top 10 percent of taxpayers now. Between 45 percent and 50 percent of Americans pay no income tax at all. We have an extraordinarily progressive tax code already. It is a mess and needs to be revisited again.”
Those claims are wrong in important ways, but the implication is that the broad middle class should be paying more, and the top earners less.
More from the WaPo, Middle class would face higher taxes under Republican plan, analysis finds.
Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center, reviewed the Joint Economic Committee report. Although the numbers are rough, he said, the conclusions are largely accurate.
“Even with eliminating fairly major tax preferences, the Ryan tax plan remains regressive. That’s the bottom line,” he said. “Unless you go after the tax preferences that benefit the wealthy” — capital gains, dividends, tax-free interest on municipal bonds — “it’s really hard to undo the regressivity of the rate changes. You’ll be shifting the burden of the tax code toward the middle class.”