Paul Ryan Does Not Accept the Tax Increases in the Fiscal Cliff Deal. Not At All.


Why does everyone keep asking Paul Ryan why his 2014 budget accepts the fiscal cliff tax increases instead of trying to repeal them? I mean, sure, technically he’s working off a baseline that includes the increases, but here’s his tax plan:

Substantially lower tax rates for individuals, with a goal of achieving a top individual rate of 25 percent.

There is, literally, no further detail about this in his 91-page document, but that’s still clear enough. The fiscal cliff deal increased top marginal rates from 36 percent to 39.6 percent. Ryan’s plan is based on reducing top rates to 25 percent. In other words, not only does he want to get rid of the 39.6 percent rate, he wants to make it even lower than it was before the fiscal cliff deal. He doesn’t accept the fiscal cliff increases at all.

Right? What am I missing here?

UPDATE: OK, I guess I get it. In last year’s plan, Ryan’s revenue target was 18.7 percent of GDP by 2022. In this year’s plan, his target is 19.1 percent of GDP by 2023. So he’s accepting higher revenues, which, it turns out, is actually the main way that he achieves a balanced budget within ten years.

Nonetheless, he rather decidedly doesn’t accept the higher rates in the fiscal cliff plan, and doesn’t provide any details about how he intends to meet his revenue target with a top rate of 25 percent.

MORE HARD-HITTING JOURNALISM

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight 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

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.