As in previous years, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan has released a budget proposal that includes some specific, enormous tax cuts with a vague promise that the amount of revenue collected by the federal government would somehow be unchanged. There is no way the plan could be implemented without providing millionaires with tax cuts averaging at least $200,000.
The language in Ryan’s budget plan makes clear that he expects Congress to limit or eliminate tax expenditures (special breaks or loopholes in the tax code) in order to offset the cost of his proposed tax cuts, which include reducing personal income tax rates to 25 and 10 percent, repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) and reducing the corporate income tax rate to 25 percent, among other tax cuts.
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 2015 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.
Estimates produced using the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) microsimulation tax model illustrate two scenarios for how the Ryan budget plan could be implemented. In the first scenario, very high-income people must give up all of their tax expenditures, except for those subsidizing investment and savings which Ryan has consistently made clear he would preserve. Even in this scenario, these very wealthy people would receive enormous net tax cuts, as illustrated in the table above. In the second scenario, these very high-income people are not required to give up any tax expenditures, and as a result their net tax cuts would be even large