You know how incomes are finally rising for those at the bottom of the economic ladder? The Republicans plan to fix that with some deeply thoughtful policy innovation from everyone’s favorite Very Serious policy wonk, Paul Ryan.
Ryan’s agenda includes the normal conservative priorities: deregulation of the financial industry and fossil fuels, repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s cost reforms and coverage expansions, increased military budgets, and deep cuts in spending for poor people. As always, the plan’s centerpiece is a massive, debt-financed tax cut that disproportionately accrues to the very rich. What’s new and different is just how disproportionate it is.
A typical Republican tax cut will give about 40 percent of its tax cuts to the richest one percent. Ryan’s plan, according to a new analysis by the Tax Policy Center, will give three-quarters of its tax cuts to the richest one percent in the first year. And that’s only because the cuts are slowly phased in. By 2025, the highest-earning one percent will enjoy 99.6 percent of the tax cuts. The remaining 0.4 percent will be divided up among the other 99 percent of the country. The new Paul Ryan tax cuts make the Bush tax cuts look like socialism.
I look forward to Ross Douthat’s next column on how Paul Ryan is really a reformicon bent on helping middle-class families at heart.