Simpson-Bowles first tax reform option hits the poor the hardest
A few moments ago, I interviewed Rep. Jan Schakowsky, who is serving on the deficit commission. I'll post the transcript a little later, but one of her complaints was that the commission has been resistant to producing distributional analyses of the various proposals. If they did, she says, "we would know who benefits and who pays."
The Tax Policy Center just released the first distributional analysis on the commission's first tax option: zeroing out the tax code and restoring only the child-tax credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit -- both of which are thought to be the most progressive of the bunch. The results aren't good for the commission. Under this option, the poor pay more and the rich pay less:
This isn't the only option the commission offered, and it's not one they've yoked themselves to. But it was the first on their list, and it seems to fall most heavily on exactly the wrong groups of people. Progressives were already skeptical of the proposal's tax section, and this will make them more so.
| November 16, 2010; 5:26 PM ET
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