Senate Unveils Budget Blueprint Allowing $1.5 Trillion in Tax Cuts

Those with incomes between about $49,000 and $86,000 would see an average tax cut of $660, raising their after-tax income by 1.2 percent.

The analysis said the Republican plan also would also provide enormous benefits to corporate America, with a $2.6 trillion cut in business taxes over the next decade. Individual income tax revenue would actually increase by $470 billion over that period, largely as a result of changes in personal deductions and exemptions as well as an increase in the bottom tax rate to 12 percent from 10 percent.

“Tax collections would shift dramatically from businesses to individuals,” said Eric Toder, co-director of the Tax Policy Center.

The loss of deductions would hit the upper middle class the most, and more than a third of the taxpayers who earn $150,000 to $300,000 would see their taxes go up next year, the report found. They would be hit particularly hard by the repeal of the state and local tax deduction.

And all of that would have to be squeezed into a $1.5 trillion budget hole, forcing lawmakers either to scale back cuts, phase them in, find more loopholes to close or other taxes to raise.


Under Trump’s Plan, Tax Cuts Shrink Over Time for Everyone but the Richest

The major findings in a preliminary analysis of the president’s tax plan.

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The budget resolution released on Friday does foresee a balanced budget within 10 years — but only by assuming trillions of dollars in unspecified spending cuts and projecting higher economic growth than is forecast by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Republicans are counting on a surge of economic growth to pay for their tax plan, and the Tax Policy Center analysis does not account for those “dynamic” effects. However, the group’s analysts said that its previous studies of recent Republican tax plans showed little impact from growth on revenues, largely because of the likelihood that deficits would lead to higher interest rates.

In a preview of the partisan battles over the tax legislation to come, Democrats seized the analysis as evidence that talk of populism from Republicans is not to be trusted.

“This report on Trump’s tax scam is more hard evidence that the president and his out-of-touch millionaire advisers are executing a middle-class con job,” said Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee. “While this administration continues to peddle false claim after false claim, nothing can hide the truth that the only individuals benefiting from this plan are the president, his family and his highflier friends.”

Republicans quickly dismissed the analysis, saying the tax cut framework needs detail before it can be accurately assessed. A nine-page proposal for a tax overhaul, announced by Mr. Trump and Republican leaders in Congress on Wednesday, did not include income levels for its three personal income brackets. It left the door open to a fourth level of taxation for high-income taxpayers, and it did not specify the size of an enhanced child tax credit.

“This analysis is based on guesswork and biased assumptions designed to promote the authors’ point of view — rather actual detail from a bill that has not yet been written by the committees,” said Antonia Ferrier, a spokeswoman for Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader.

The heated reaction to the tax plan is a sign that Mr. Trump’s overtures for bipartisanship on taxes are unlikely to succeed as Republicans scramble to secure a legislative victory by the end of the year.

The budget resolution, essentially a blueprint for federal revenues and spending for the 2018 fiscal year that begins on Sunday and beyond, lays the groundwork for approving a tax bill using special procedures that would shield it from a Democratic filibuster. Republicans used the same strategy in their failed effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Senator Michael B. Enzi, Republican of Wyoming and the chairman of the Budget Committee, called the budget resolution “the first important step in providing Congress with the tools it needs to enact tax reform that will grow America’s economy and strengthen hardworking families and small businesses.”

Democrats cast the plan as fiscally irresponsible and harmful to the middle class.

“The Senate Republican budget is the clearest sign yet that Republicans are intent on pursuing a tax plan that would blow a huge hole in the deficit and stack up debt, leading to cuts in programs that middle-class Americans rely on,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader. “This budget would green-light a tax scheme that could very well put Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid on the chopping block.”

Senator Bernie Sanders, independent of Vermont and the Budget Committee’s ranking member, denounced the blueprint as “one of the most destructive budgets in modern American history.”

“This budget is the Robin Hood principle in reverse,” Mr. Sanders said. “At a time of massive income and wealth inequality, the Republican budget takes from the middle class and those in need, and gives huge tax breaks to the wealthiest people in this country.”

The budget resolution instructs the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee to develop the tax legislation by Nov. 13.

The resolution also instructs two other panels, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the House Natural Resources Committee, to draft legislation by that date that would reduce the deficit by at least $1 billion over the next 10 years.

That language would free up the chairwoman of the Senate panel, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, to pursue her long-sought opening of the Arctic wildlife refuge to oil exploration.

Republicans and Democrats have battled for decades over the refuge. But with a supportive president and unified Republican control of Congress, the budget instructions could finally break the stalemate, with the drilling language tacked on to the tax bill.

“This provides an excellent opportunity for our committee to raise $1 billion in federal revenues while creating jobs and strengthening our nation’s long-term energy security,” Ms. Murkowski said in a statement that did not mention drilling.

Senator Edward Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts and a longtime opponent of opening the refuge, was less circumspect.

“There is bipartisan opposition to drilling in our nation’s most pristine wildlife refuge,” he said, “and any effort to include it in the tax package would only further imperil the legislation as a whole.”

In order to pass legislation using the procedures that would protect it from a filibuster, both the House and the Senate will need to agree on a budget resolution for the 2018 fiscal year.

The House Budget Committee approved its own budget resolution in July, and although it had been stalled, the full House is expected to vote on it next week. The House budget calls for a tax overhaul that would not add to the deficit, and it instructs congressional committees to come up with at least about $200 billion in savings.

The Senate Budget Committee plans to consider its budget resolution next week as well.

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