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Mar-18-2013 16:20printcomments

Fairness for the Middle Class in the Ryan-Walden Tax Plan

Tax cuts for millionaires - $200,000; Tax increase for the middle class - $2,000

Greg Walden
Greg Walden photo: rncnyc2004.blogspot.com

(WASHINGTON DC) - This week, Congressman Greg Walden is set to back a Republican (Ryan) budget that forces a $2,000 tax hike on the middle class while cutting taxes $200,000 for millionaires.

The new budget that Republican Budget Chairman Paul Ryan introduced last week cuts the top tax rate for the wealthiest Americans from 39 percent down to 25 percent and would have to end middle class tax benefits such as the mortgage interest deduction. For too many families in Oregon, $2,000 is the difference between being able to buy new school clothes for their kids and paying the mortgage – but Congressman Walden supports this budget, which will force hardworking families to pay more while giving millionaires a $200,000 tax cut.


An analysis of the Ryan-Walden budget conducted by Citizens for Tax Justice concluded: “For taxpayers with income exceeding $1 million, the benefit of Ryan’s tax rate reductions and other proposed tax cuts would far exceed the loss of any tax expenditures. In fact, under Ryan’s plan taxpayers with income exceeding $1 million in 2014 would receive an average net tax decrease of over $200,000 that year even if they had to give up all of their tax expenditures. These taxpayers would see an even larger net tax decrease if Congress failed to limit or eliminate enough tax expenditures to offset the costs of the proposed tax cuts.” According to the New York Times: “The budget, like last year’s, calls for a dramatically simplified tax system aimed at producing just two tax brackets, 10 percent and 25 percent. But because the top rate jumped in January from 35 percent to 39.6 percent, the drop in marginal tax rates for families with incomes over $400,000 would be even more dramatic than last year.”


While the Ryan-Walden budget cuts taxes for millionaires, it makes the middle class pay more. According to an analysis released by the House Budget Committee Democrats “The House Republican budget increases tax breaks for the wealthiest in the country at the expense of middle-income taxpayers, who will pay an average of $2,000 more per family.”  The Ryan-Walden budget predicts $7 trillion in deductions would be closed under his budget. The Center for American Progress found that “A total and complete repeal of all itemized tax deductions—the mortgage interest deduction, the charitable deduction, and the state and local tax deduction, for example—would generate less than $2 trillion in added revenue. Not only would that still leave him $5 trillion short of his claimed revenue levels, but he would also be financing a massive tax cut for the rich with a huge middle-class tax increase.”

Sure enough, we’ve seen this type of budget before – in the 2012 election. Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, proposed a similar budget. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that: “Governor Romney adopted a similar approach in his presidential campaign, arguing that he would use unspecified tax expenditure savings to offset the cost of cutting the top income tax rate from 35 percent to 28 percent, or by 7 percentage points. Analysis by the Tax Policy Center indicated that Romney could not do that without raising taxes on middle class and working poor Americans. Yet now, Ryan proposes to cut the top rate by as much as 14.6 percentage points, or more than twice as much as Romney proposed, while still claiming to finance it through tax expenditure reforms that policymakers would identify later."

To sum it up, the Ryan budget that Congressman Walden plans to support simply has the wrong priorities for this country; we want to expand the middle class, not pad millionaires’ checkbooks.

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