The non-partisan Tax Policy Center is out with a dismantling of Paul Ryan's new budget proposal that hits its lack of specifics in much of the same way it slammed Mitt Romney's tax-code revamp during the presidential campaign last summer.
In its study, the center concludes that Ryan's budget would add $5.7 trillion to the deficit — because of proposals to simplify the income tax code to two levels of 10 and 25 percent, repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax, repeal certain tax increases from the Affordable Care Act, and cut the top corporate tax rate to 25 percent.
It's "hard to imagine" Ryan's budget plan working out to be revenue neutral, the TPC's Howard Gleckman wrote in a blog post accompanying the study.
But if Ryan plans to implement those tax cuts and still make good on his promise to balance the budget, other taxes would have to be raised by $5.7 trillion.
According to the study, the Ryan budget's tax cuts would also proportionately benefit upper-income earners. Here's a look at each income bracket's percent change in after-tax income looks in chart form:
According to the TPC, the top 0.1 percent of incomes would see a $1.2 million increase in after-tax income. The bottom 20 percent of incomes, on the other hand, would see an average tax cut of about $60.
The TPC didn't analyze what potential tax hikes the budget would have to raise, since Ryan didn't identify any potential tax increases in his proposal. But Gleckman speculates that most of the burden would fall to middle-class incomes because of the huge, $5.7 trillion revenue gap:
"[B] ecause his plan does not identify any tax increases, TPC modeled only the tax cuts. [...]
But because the rate cuts are so regressive, House Republicans would have to heavily skew offsetting tax increases to high-income households if they want to keep the distribution of taxes roughly what it is today. And that will be another heavy lift."
When the center gave a similar analysis of Romney's tax plan during the campaign and doubted it could be revenue neutral, Romney himself called the study "garbage."
Democrats, meanwhile, were quick to jump at the study as they did last time.
"Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan lost that argument," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, a ranking member of the House Budget Committee. "Yet here we have a re-run of that plan that was thoroughly rejected by the American people."
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