Sound familiar? The Ryan budget would lead to higher taxes for middle-class families

The House Republican budget claims to balance the budget in 10 years but the math just doesn’t add up. How does a plan that gives a new tax cut to the wealthiest Americans, without identifying a single tax loophole to close achieve any meaningful deficit reduction? The answer, while unfair, is not at all unfamiliar to GOP budgets—their plan requires a major tax increase on middle class families of more than $2000. The Ryan budget cuts taxes for the wealthy even more than Mitt Romney’s 2012 proposal, which could not have been paid for without raising taxes on the middle class. Paul Ryan is fond of saying his budget is all about tough choices. Again, Republicans and Paul Ryan has chosen to slash taxes for the wealthiest Americans and place the entire burden of deficit reduction on programs benefiting the middle class, seniors, and vulnerable Americans.


Michael Linden, Center for American Progress: The Ryan Budget "Has A Bigger Revenue Hole Than The Romney Budget Did, Meaning His Tax Increases on the Middle Would Have To Be Even Bigger."  "Last year the Tax Policy Center estimated that these provisions would generate revenue equaling just 15.8 percent of GDP in 2022. Extrapolating to 2023 suggests that Rep. Ryan is missing about $840 billion of revenue in 2023 alone, and approximately $7 trillion over the entire 10-year period from 2014 through 2023. After accounting for the added interest costs from all of these unpaid-for tax cuts, Ryan’s budget would still be about $1.2 trillion in the red in 2023. … If all of this sounds vaguely familiar, that’s because this is the same play that Rep. Ryan and his running mate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, ran in the 2012 election: promising enormous tax cuts with no way to pay for them except by raising taxes on the middle class. The only difference this time is that this version of Rep. Ryan’s budget has a bigger revenue hole than the Romney budget did, meaning his tax increases on the middle would have to be even bigger." [Michael Linden, Center for American Progress, 3/12/13]

Robert Greenstein, Center On Budget And Policy Priorities: The Ryan Budget Cuts Taxes For The Wealthy More Than Twice As Much As Romney Proposed And The Romney Proposal Could Not Have Been Paid For Without Raising Taxes On The Middle Class. "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." [Statement by Robert Greenstein, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/12/13]

The Atlantic: "As Written, [The Ryan Budget] Is Almost Certainly A Plan To Raise Taxes On The Same Lower-Middle Class Which Is Also Getting Hit With Massive Spending Cuts." "The tax plan would cut the top rate to 25 percent -- a 15-point reduction for income above $450,000 -- but somehow it would also collect the same amount of revenue as the president's current policy. Quick math: If you cut tax rates for the top 0.1 percent in half, the only way to make the same amount of money is (a) to practically wipe out all of their tax advantages or (b) to raise taxes disproportionately on the bottom 99.9 percent. To be clear: As written, this [the Ryan budget] is almost certainly a plan to raise taxes on the same lower-middle class which is also getting hit with massive spending cuts." [Derek Thompson,, 3/12/13]

Robert Reich: "The Reality, Of Course, Is That The Only Possible Way Ryan Could Pay For His Proposed Tax Cuts For The Wealthy And Corporations Would Be To Raise Taxes On The Middle Class." "Meanwhile, it redistributes upward, cutting the top tax rate for individuals down to 25 percent -- a bigger tax cut for the top than even Mitt Romney proposed -- and the corporate tax rate down to 25 percent, from 35 percent today. Ryan would pay for these tax cuts by 'closing tax loopholes,' but -- where did we hear this before? -- his budget doesn't say which loopholes, or even hint at what it would do with rates on capital gains and dividends. Like Romney's plan, it leaves all the heavy lifting to Congress. The reality, of course, is that the only possible way Ryan could pay for his proposed tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations would be to raise taxes on the middle class." [Robert Reich, Huffington Post, 3/12/13]

Ezra Klein: Paul Ryan's Plan "Will Require Either Huge, Deficit-Busting Tax Cuts Or Increasing Taxes On Poor And Middle-Class Households." "Here is Paul Ryan’s path to a balanced budget in three sentences: He cuts deep into spending on health care for the poor and some combination of education, infrastructure, research, public-safety, and low-income programs. The Affordable Care Act’s Medicare cuts remain, but the military is spared, as is Social Security. There’s a vague individual tax reform plan that leaves only two tax brackets — 10 percent and 25 percent — and will require either huge, deficit-busting tax cuts or increasing taxes on poor and middle-class households, as well as a vague corporate tax reform plan that lowers the rate from 35 percent to 25 percent." [Ezra Klein, Washington Post, 3/12/13]


Center On Budget And Policy Priorities: Romney’s New Tax Cuts Would Cost $4.9 Trillion Over A Decade, On Top Of The Cost Of Extending The Bush Tax Cuts. “The Tax Policy Center estimates that the Romney tax plan would lose about $480 billion in tax revenue in calendar year 2015, beyond the revenues losses inherent in maintaining current policy (such as continuing all of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts).  Over the 2014-2022 period, that implies a total reduction in revenues of about $4.9 trillion, relative to current tax policy.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 5/21/12]

If Romney’s Tax Plan Was Paid For, Families With Kids Who Make Less Than $200,000 Would See An Average Tax Increase Of $2,041. [Tax Policy Center, On The Distributional Effects Of Base-Broadening Income Tax Reform, p. 18, 8/1/12]

If Romney’s Tax Plan Was Paid For, The Top 0.1% Would See An Average Tax Cut Of $246,652. [Tax Policy Center, On The Distributional Effects Of Base-Broadening Income Tax Reform, p. 19, 8/1/12]

Reuters Headline: “Romney Tax Plan Helps Rich, Hurts Middle Class-Study.” [Reuters, 8/1/12]

Boston Globe Headline: “Mitt Romney’s Tax Plan Would Offer Big Cuts To Millionaires, Raise Taxes On Middle Class, Brookings Analysts Say.” [Boston Globe, 8/1/12]

Washington Post Editorial: The Tax Policy Center Found That Under The Romney Plan “Even If Every Loophole For The Top Brackets Were Closed, There Wouldn’t Be Enough Revenue. The Middle Class Would Have To Pay More.” “The Tax Policy Center (TPC), a joint venture of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, examined Mr. Romney’s claim and found that, even if every loophole for the top brackets were closed, there wouldn’t be enough revenue. The middle class would have to pay more.” [Editorial, Washington Post, 8/21/12]