Thursday, September 28, 2017
Vox op-ed: The Republican Tax “Plan” Is a Deficit-Busting Mess. And It Would Slash the President’s Taxes, by Edward Kleinbard (USC):
Here is what you need to know about the Republican tax plan released Wednesday: It’s not a tax reform plan at all.
It is a sketch of an outline of a preliminary notion of a tax cut for some — and a tax hike for others. The components read like the jumble of ideas you might expect a table of slightly inebriated Chamber of Commerce types to shout out when polled for their tax reform suggestions.
The plan is sketchy, as I say, but this is the gist: Where individuals are concerned, the seven current individual income tax brackets will become three: 12 percent, 25 percent, and 35 percent. The standard deduction will be raised to $24,000 for couples and $12,000 for individuals. There will be a substantially bigger child tax credit.
It’s not just the nerdiest details that are missing: We don’t, for example, know what the top tax rate would actually be (the proposal dangles the possibility of a fourth tax bracket, for high earners, on top of that 35 percent rate). We don’t know where the new tax brackets begin and end, or the magnitude of the enlarged child tax credit. In many cases it is impossible for me or anyone else to tell you whether you will be better or worse off, given the lack of detail. ...
In short, where personal taxes are concerned, the proposal is a surefire winner for the very top of the income ladder, including the president. It’s also a budget buster, and it may turn out on balance to raise the income tax burden on you, the reader.