Democrats touting tax cuts

by Linda Beale

Democrats touting tax cuts
crossposted with Ataxingmatter

The New York Times ran a story this week about the Obama tax cuts–the point? while the Tea Partiers rage against the Obama administration because they want more tax cuts, they have missed the fact of substantial tax cuts under the Obama administration. See Michael Cooper, From Obama, the Tax Cut Nobody Heard of, NY Times, Oct. 18, 2010 (noting that a reporter’s query at a Republican gathering ifound most commenters saying that their taxes had gone up under Obama and a NY Times, CBS News POll that showed that fewer than 1 in 10 Americans knew that Obama had cut taxes for most Americans, with a third mistakenly thinking their taxes had increased under Obama).

The reason for the failure to notice. It might be partly the vast expenditure of funds to support misleading propaganda that claims that the Obama administration’s policies are terrible for ordinary Americans. But it is at least in part because of the design of the economic stimulus tax cuts–intended to let the tax relief arrive in paycheck after paycheck (about $65 a month for typical families) so that it would be spent and thus help the economy, rather than arriving in a lump sum that might more likely be used as savings/debt reduction that would have less of an effect on the economy, coupled with the fact that the recession was cutting into spending money as businesses cut back, construction workers worked less, state services declined and, in at least 30 states, state taxes rose (see CBPP, States Continue to Feel Recession’s Impact, Oct. 7, 2010), and deductions for the ever-spiralling health insurance bills increased.

[Of course, this will all be much worse for many if the Tea Party candidates dominate in the elections. The ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, for example, “calls for a radical redistribution of resources from the broad majority of Americans to the nation’s wealthiest individuals” including a plan that “provides the largest tax cuts in history for the wealthy,raises taxes on the middle class, ends guaranteed Medicare benefits, erodes health care coverage, partial privatizes Social Security, and makes deep cuts in guaranteed Social Security benefits.” Ryan Plan Makes Deep Cuts in Social Security, CBPP, Oct. 20, 2010. See Ryan Roadmap (introduced as H.R. 4529).]

The Democrats didn’t miss a beat in putting out a “fact sheet” to help people understand the range of tax cuts included in the stimulus bill and other legislation passed under Obama. See “Democrats Cut Taxes by $509 Billion, Putting Taxes at Lowest Level Since 1950“, Democratic Policy Committee, Oct. 20, 2010. The release includes the following list of major tax cuts enacted in the 111th Congress.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-5; JCX-19-09)

  • Tax relief for individuals and families (e.g., Making Work Pay Credit, American Opportunity Tax Credit, first-time homebuyer credit, and AMT relief)

$232,426 million

  • Clean energy incentives

$19,963 million

  • Tax cuts for businesses

$6,150 million

  • Manufacturing recovery provisions

$1,850 million

  • Economic recovery tools (e.g., recovery zone bonds, new markets tax credit)

$6,501 million

  • Infrastructure financing tools (e.g., school construction bonds, Build America Bonds)

$19,638 million

  • Low-income housing and energy property provisions

$74 million

  • $250 refundable tax credit for federal and state pensioners not eligible for Social Security

$218 million

  • Health Coverage Tax Credit provisions

$457 million

  • Low-income housing tax credit provisions

$143 million

  • Assistance for COBRA health coverage premiums

$24,677 million

TOTAL (over 2009-2019)

$312,097 million

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148; JCX-17-10 and CBO, Table 2)

  • Tax credit to help small businesses afford health coverage

$37,000 million

  • Tax credit to help individuals afford health coverage (Exchange Premium Credits)

$106,000 million

  • Therapeutic Discovery Tax Credit (for small businesses to produce innovative medical therapies)

$900 million

  • Adoption tax credit

$1,200 million

  • Health professional state loan repayment tax relief

$100 million

TOTAL (over 2010-2019)

$145,200 million

Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-92; JCX-45-09)

  • First-time homebuyer tax credit provisions

$10,823 million

  • Business tax cut (increase carryback period for net operating losses)

$10,407 million

  • Military BRAC fringe provisions

$243 million

TOTAL (over 2010-2019)

$21,473 million

Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act (P.L. 111-147; JCX-6-10)

  • Payroll tax forgiveness for hiring unemployed workers

$7,616 million

  • Business tax credit for retaining newly hired workers

$5,422 million

  • Business tax cut (increase in expensing of certain depreciable assets)

$35 million

  • Qualified Tax Credit Bonds provisions

$4,561 million

TOTAL (over 2010-2020)

$17,634 million

Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-240; JCX-48-10)

  • Small business tax cut (modification to exclusion for gain from certain small business stock)

$518 million

  • Small business tax cut (5 year carryback of general business credit of eligible small business)

$107 million

  • Small business tax cut (general business credits of eligible small business not subject to AMT)

$977 million

  • Small business tax cut (reduction in recognition period for built-in gains tax)

$70 million

  • Small business tax cut (enhancements to section 179 property provisions)

$2,177 million

  • One-year extension of bonus depreciation

$5,454 million

  • Increase deduction for start-up business expenditures

$230 million

  • Limitation on penalty for failure to disclose reportable transactions based on resulting tax benefits

$176 million

  • Deduction for health insurance costs in computing self-employment taxes

$1,919 million

  • Cell phones and telecommunications equipment provisions

$410 million

TOTAL (over 2011-2020)

$12,038 million

Homebuyer Assistance and Improvement Act (P.L. 111-198; JCX-34-10)

  • Extend eligibility for the first-time homebuyer credit

$140 million

TOTAL (over 2010-2020)

$140 million

Charitable Donations for Haiti Earthquake Relief (P.L. 111-126; CBO)

  • Tax benefit for charitable cash contributions toward Haiti earthquake relief

$2 million

TOTAL (over 2010-2020)