Spinning the Tax Cuts

BPlogoDemocrats argue that Republicans' plan to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the nation's wealthiest citizens would add $700 billion to the national debt over the next ten years. While this is true, Democrats usually don't mention that Obama's plan to extend tax cuts for just middle and low income wage earners would also add to the national debt. The Obama plan would just add less -- about $700 billion less -- than the Republicans' plan. In another wave of tax cut spin, the Web site for Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and other Republicans have called the expiration of the tax cuts the "largest tax increase in history," but that isn't true. The increase wouldn't be nearly as large as those imposed during World War II. A 1942 tax increase accounted for over 71 percent of federal revenues. By contrast, the currently-proposed potential tax increase would raise revenues less than ten percent. Republicans also argue that the dollar amount of next year's potential increase would be the largest ever, even accounting for inflation. That may be true, but it doesn't consider the expansion of the country's population. In 1942, the population of the U.S. was less than half what it is now, putting a bigger tax increase on a much smaller population.