A Republican proposal to preserve tax cuts for the nation’s wealthiest households next year would cost about $80 billion more than a Democratic proposal to extend the cuts solely for middle-class taxpayers, according to official estimates released Thursday.
The GOP measure, introduced by Senate Republicans, would devote an additional $50 billion to retaining the George W. Bush-era tax cuts for taxpayers in the top two tax brackets. Reducing the estate and gift tax, which disproportionately benefits the wealthy, would eat up another $31 billion, according to cost estimates by the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation.
All told, the Republican measure would add $300 billion to next year’s budget deficit, the JCT said.
A competing Democratic proposal to extend the Bush tax cuts only on income under $250,000 would increase the deficit by about $223 billion next year. Democrats would devote an additional $27 billion to extending a variety of other middle-class tax cuts, including a credit for college tuition and an expanded credit for the working poor, bringing the total cost of the measure to about $250 billion.