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Bernstein: Why Not Cutting Taxes Makes Sense


A recent Washington Post op-ed by CBPP Senior Fellow Jared Bernstein — “Hey, here’s a crazy idea: Let’s not cut taxes!” — lists several reasons why we should slow the large tax-cut train that President-elect Trump may attempt to roll through Congress.  Here’s the first one:

Trump ran on a populist agenda, but his tax plan pushes hard in exactly the other direction.  Millionaires, who make up only 0.8 percent of the population, would receive nearly half of the total value of the tax cuts he’s proposed.  Their average tax cut would be more than $300,000 compared with a $900 cut for middle-class families.  As my Center on Budget and Policy Priorities colleagues note: “the top 0.1 percent of Americans — numbering about 350,000 people — would receive substantially more than the bottom 280 million people.”

Bernstein also discusses why experience indicates a large tax cut would not drive economic growth, is ill-timed given our sizeable budget deficit and debt as well as the current stage of the economic cycle, and ignores how the aging of the population means we’ll need more revenue down the road, not less, to meet our retirement and health obligations to the growing elderly population.  Read his full op-ed here.