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Saturday, October 22, 2016

To the surprise of no one, a new study by Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) shows that the budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) will overwhelmingly benefit the United States’ top earners.

CTJ is the same research institution that correctly reported just how generous Mitt Romney’s and Ryan’s tax plans would be to the wealthy during the 2012 presidential election. Most notably, CTJ reported about Rep. Ryan’s previous budget proposal, “[The] federal government would collect $2 trillion less over a decade and yet require bottom 90 percent to pay higher taxes.”

At the crux of Ryan’s budget is a promise to implement large tax cuts, while — somehow — not reducing the revenue collected by the federal government. A crunch of the numbers by CTJ shows this is possible only by providing the wealthy with tax cuts and likely offsetting the lost revenue with a tax increase on low earners.

According to the study, there are two notable tax reforms included in Ryan’s budget proposal: a variety of tax cuts, and the closing of tax loopholes and special breaks through a limit on tax expenditures by Congress. While closing tax loopholes is a good talking point for Republicans, it will not pave the way for wealthy Americans to pay a higher income tax rate. In fact, according to the study, Americans who earn more than 1 million dollars a year will average a net tax decrease of $200,000, even with the limit on tax expenditures.

The study shows two scenarios for how the Ryan budget will affect high-income households in the United States. If tax expenditures are limited and loopholes are closed, high-income households will enjoy a significant net tax decrease, as made clear in the below table. In another scenario, the tax expenditures will not be cut and high-income households will benefit from an even larger tax decrease.


Americans who earn far less than $1 million a year will likely not benefit from such a decrease. Because the Ryan budget calls for the federal government to collect the same amount of revenue, a tax increase on lower earners will necessarily have to be implemented.

To top everything off, the Ryan budget calls for a repeal of the Affordable Care Act and all the tax increases associated with the law. The rich would benefit from this as well: The plan would reform the Medicare Hospital Insurance tax, ending the higher rate for high-income earners currently in place.

Photo: Speaker Boehner via Flickr

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  • Lynda Groom

    What a total surprise…not! The plan calls for the usual screwing of middle class and the less fortunate among us. Typical GOP answer….lower taxes for the wealthy and magical thinking.

    • Grannysmovin

      Didn’t you see Ryan ride in on his magical unicorn wearing his magical underwear waving his magical budget?

      • Sand_Cat

        Someone should make a YouTube video….;-)

      • dpaano

        He must have borrowed Mitt’s “magical” underwear!

    • Independent1

      Actually, what Ryan could use is a “magical brain”; to this point, he seems to have been devoid of one of those – a brain.

  • Dominick Vila

    I can’t believe it! Please tell me this isn’t true! Rep. Ryan’s budget is going to give more loopholes and tax breaks to those who don’t need more breaks to invest in China and stash their loot in the Cayman Islands, while sticking it to the poor and the middle class. Is this supposed to be unprecedented? Remember, don’t bite the hand that feeds you….

    • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

      Yep. Of course, that is because those folks are “creators”, not “takers”. After all, they probably need more incentive to send more jobs to China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India.

      • BillP

        But those folks are “takers”. They are taking jobs from workers in the US and giving them to all the countries you mentioned.

  • dpaano

    For some inane reason, the Republicans (and Ryan) think it’s OK to raise taxes on the lower and middle class, but it’s NOT OK to raise them for the wealthy. This seems a bit hypocritical to my way of thinking! In order to grow revenue, taxes MUST be raised, and raising them across the board will spread out the amount each of us must pay… makes sense to me. But, the wealthy can afford to pay more and they should…..getting rid of the tax loopholes that they enjoy now would go far in fixing the problem. Of course, that’s just TOO LOGICAL for the Republicans to understand.

  • FredAppell

    I can’t say I’m surprised by this. Ryan and his ilk will continue to run rough shot on us all as long as right wing voters continue to vote on issues based on fear and misinformation. Here’s what worries me, assuming that Ryan’s constituents are receiving this same news, these dolts will somehow manage to blame the Democrats. The only good news is that Ryan’s budget hasn’t passed yet and is not a sure thing.

  • charleo1

    This is nothing more than same song, as the last song, second verse same as the first. It’s pathetic, really. That the entire Republican Party has been tied up like a yard dog on a short chain. Grover Norquist put it as well as any. He said, speaking for his group. What we need is a President with enough working digits to sign such bills into law as Congress sends him. Revealing a couple of things. One, Grover misses George W. a lot. But managing Congress, and gaining back a majority there, they feel, is more or less a given. So, the Presidency is the missing cog they must have. And until they can actually achieve that, everything is in holding mode. The healthcare reform law is seen as a huge obstacle to future plans. Their backers want it destroyed of course. But, how one goes about that, without getting clobbered by a public, that may not be in love with it, but realizes it’s potential benefits, consumes the Republican Party’s days and keeps them up at night. I’ve often wondered where they find such men as Paul Ryan? That are willing to toil away their days on earth figuring out ways to take from the poorest of the poor, in order to stuff a few more dollars into the bank accounts of some of the richest men in the world. To what ends? Of course the budget, like the 51, or is it 52, times the House has voted to cripple or kill ACA, is merely symbolic. A sappy love letter to his masters. This is what I would do for thee, my love! The moon, the stars, the tax break I know you’re dreaming of. The gov. I would shrink for you to the size of a bathtub. There is no bounds to my admiration! It literally makes me sick.