The Near-Rich Did Really Well in the Fiscal Cliff Deal


Who were the biggest winners from the fiscal cliff deal? The invaluable Tax Policy Center has a preliminary analysis up, and it shows how much various income groups will save as a result of the deal. (These are savings compared to going over the cliff and letting the Bush tax cuts expire completely.)

A couple of notes. First, this doesn’t include the effect of the expiration of the payroll tax holiday or of the stimulus tax cuts, so it probably overstates the gains to the working and middle classes. Second, even with that, the near-rich are the biggest winners here. They’ll pay about 4-5 percent less in taxes than they would have if we’d gone over the cliff. The very rich will pay about 2 percent less in taxes, which is nearly as good a deal as the middle class got.

Bottom line: the very rich did slightly worse than the rest of us in this deal. But only slightly.

POSTSCRIPT: On the other hand, the very rich will also start paying Obamacare taxes this year. That wasn’t part of the fiscal cliff deal, but if you count that, they’re getting clipped more than the poor and the middle class.

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