Speed Reads

GOP tax plan

Tuesday's election results, unfavorable nonpartisan analyses complicate the GOP's tax plans

The Senate is scheduled to release its tax overhaul package on Thursday, and Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) says he will release an updated version of the House bill, but Republicans on Wednesday couldn't agree whether Tuesday's electoral beating would help focus congressional Republicans on passing a tax bill or hurt the effort. Complicating their political calculus are a series of nonpartisan analyses of the House tax plan that find some middle class families would actually pay more in taxes next year, and the number of beneficiaries would shrink dramatically by 2017.

An analysis released Wednesday by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, for example, found that 9 percent of middle income taxpayers (earning $48,600 to $86,100 a year) would get a tax hike next year and 31 percent of that bracket would face higher taxes in a decade. A 76 percent majority of all U.S. taxpayers would get a tax cut in 2018, with middle class families averaging a $800 boost, the Tax Policy Center found, but "the largest cuts, in dollars and as a percentage of after-tax income, would accrue to higher-income households." The Joint Committee on Taxation, the nonpartisan tax analysis organ for Congress, predicted similar results earlier this week.

Republicans are still tinkering with their plans, but the "changes made to the House bill since it was released last week have largely benefited corporations at the expense of individuals," The Washington Post reports. One change approved Monday to eliminate a proposed corporate tax blew a $74 billion hold in the plan, pushing it up to a $1.57 trillion addition to the federal deficit over the next decade; to pass the Senate with a bare majority, the bill can't raise the deficit by more than $1.5 trillion.