What the Tax Cuts Cost

President Bush enacted a series of tax cuts in 2001, and in 2010 President Obama extended those tax cuts with a new sunset date of Dec. 31, 2012. Some members of Congress propose making them permanent.

 

Cost to the U.S. Treasury from Tax Cuts for the Wealthiest Five Percent
First decade of Bush tax cuts, 2001 - 2010

$955 billion

Obama extension, 2011 - 2012 $229 billion
Proposed extension, 2013 - 2021 $2.02 trillion
Total cost, 2001 - 2021 $3.2 trillion

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice, Joint Committee on Taxation, and Congressional Budget Office. Figures do not include interest payments on debt incurred.

 

With the help of Citizens for Tax Justice, National Priorities Project is tracking every dollar the U.S. Treasury loses from tax breaks for the wealthiest 5 percent—American families and individuals who in 2011 made at least $176,000 and on average $477,453.

 

 

Prime Numbers 

 

$19,855 - The average tax cut for a family in the wealthiest 5 percent of Americans, under the tax cut extension signed into law in December 2010.


$107 - The average tax cut for a family in the poorest 20 percent.


$1,427,808,591,337 - The projected loss of revenue to the U.S. Treasury over 10 years, 2012 through 2021, from tax cuts for the wealthiest 1 percent.


$2,150,790,974,013 - The projected loss of revenue to the U.S. Treasury over 10 years, 2012 through 2021, from tax cuts for the wealthiest 5 percent.


$1,200,000,000,000 - The amount the Super Committee was tasked with cutting from projected federal deficits for years 2012 through 2021, either by raising taxes or cutting spending. The Super Committee did not propose any deficit reduction plan.


$2,665,000,000,000 - Proposed cuts over 10 years to Medicaid, food stamps, and other health and safety-net programs passed in a budget resolution by the U.S. House of Representatives in March 2012, under the “Path to Prosperity” plan introduced by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.