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

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


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.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate