June 20, 2017

Speaker Ryan’s “Bold Agenda” for the Country Boils Down to Tax Breaks for the Wealthy

news release

Following is a statement from Alan Essig, executive director of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, regarding Speaker Paul Ryan’s speech today before the National Association of Manufacturers.

“Speaker Paul Ryan today correctly outlined some of working people’s concerns, including the desire for more good jobs and access to the training required to secure those jobs. But his bottom line policy prescriptions for addressing the concerns of working people are the same old trickle-down economic policies that time after time have proven to primarily benefit the wealthy.

“The data do not support Ryan’s assertion that American corporations and other businesses need tax breaks and his plan for providing them would help our middle-class. A recent study from ITEP examined Fortune 500 companies that were profitable each year from 2008 through 2015 and found that 100 paid no federal tax in at least one of the last eight years. The same report found that  multinational companies paid a lower federal tax rate than they did in other countries where they have business.

“Another ITEP analysis  found that Ryan’s ‘blueprint’ for tax reform would provide 60 percent of its tax cuts to the richest 1 percent of Americans. More importantly, this study showed that under any reasonable assumption about how these massive tax breaks could be financed, all but the richest 5 percent would be net losers under Speaker Ryan’s blueprint.

“As Ryan spoke today, senators were working behind closed doors to approve some version of his plan to eliminate taxes mainly affecting the richest 3 percent that were enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act and to finance the costs of these tax cuts by cutting Medicaid and subsidies that make health insurance affordable. Any remarks about ‘bold agendas’ and jobs for the middle class are just that—talk. Tax and budget policies being pushed by this Congress are blueprints to transfer more wealth to the already wealthy at the expense of everyone else.”