FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Report Shows Impact to Pennsylvania Residents of Ending Bush Tax Cuts for Richest 2% of Americans
Wealthy Few Would Still Reap Significant Tax Breaks
(PA – July 30, 2012) If the U.S. House of Representatives passes the Republican plan this week to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for one year for households making over $250,000, the wealthiest 2.7 percent of Pennsylvania taxpayers in that income group could get a disproportionate 40 percent of the total tax breaks in their state. They’re average tax cut would be more than $31,000.
In contrast, if Congress passed President Obama’s plan to extend the Bush tax cuts on the first $250,000 in household income, the average tax cut for Pennsylvanians who make more than that amount would be about $14,000, less than half of what they would get under the GOP plan. And the 26 percent of Pennsylvanians with income up to $25,000 would get larger average tax cuts under the Obama plan than under the Republican plan.
Those are among the key findings of a new report released today by Americans for Tax Fairness, a coalition including the Pennsylvania group ACTION United, “Time to Pay Their Fair Share: Pennsylvania Can’t Afford to Extend the Bush-era Tax Cuts for the Wealthy Few.” The report is authored by Americans for Tax Fairness, Citizens for Tax Justice and the National Women’s Law Center.
The report is timely because this week the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on the Republican plan to extend all the Bush tax cuts, including for the richest 2 percent of U.S. households, while ending improvements in tax credits for low-end and moderate-income families. The Democrats will offer an alternative plan similar to President Obama’s, which the U.S. Senate passed last week by a 51 to 48 vote.
“Giving lavish tax breaks for those who need them the least is exactly the kind of special-interest giveaways Washington needs to stop,” said Lucille Prater-Holliday, President of ACTION United, a member of the Americans for Tax Fairness campaign. “We urge the House to end the Bush-era tax cuts to the richest 2 percent.”
Major findings of the report include:
The additional tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent in the Republican plan will cost approximately $68 billion next year alone. That’s equal to what the federal government spends to repair highways, improve education and provide school breakfasts for low-income children, ensure clean drinking water, and deliver meals at home to frail seniors. The report breaks down what Pennsylvania’s share of these funds means for its residents:
“If we give tax cuts to the rich, we won’t be able to protect middle- and lower-income priorities like educating our kids and providing for our seniors,” said Holiday. “The wealthiest people in our country already receive the biggest tax breaks, and we just can’t afford to keep giving tax cuts to those who need them the least. Giving tax cuts to the richest 2 percent also makes it harder to bring the budget deficit under control, which means we keep borrowing billions from China every year.”