What Jeb Bush’s Plan Would Do For Jeb

Jeb Bush's tax plan would make Jeb Bush $773,677 a year.

Jeb Bush’s Tax Plan Would Save Him $773,677 A Year

Jeb Bush apparently knew what he was doing with his own trickle-down tax plan: inflating his own bank account. According to a new analysis from the Center for American Progress Action Fund, Jeb Bush will save approximately $773,677 a year—almost 15 times the median family income in the United States—in tax breaks under his tax plan. Bush’s adjusted gross income in 2013, based on his 2013 tax return, was $7,274,764, so clearly he benefits significantly from reducing the top tax rate from 39.6 percent to 28 percent. Bush’s income included a combined $730,898 of taxable interest, long-term capital gains, and dividends that qualify for reduced tax rates, meaning Bush would further benefit if the top tax rates were lowered to 20 percent on these sources of income, as his tax plan proposes. Here are some ways Jeb Bush ensured he would benefit from his tax plan:

  • Jeb Bush and the very wealthy can deduct more from their taxable income under Bush’s plan. Though the media says Bush’s tax plan closes loopholes and eliminates deductions, Bush would actually receive $138,572 of itemized deductions under his plan, compared with the $56,980 he actually took in 2013.
  • In his tax plan, Jeb Bush makes money by repealing part of the funding for the Affordable Care Act. Despite the fact that the ACA has succeeded in bringing quality, affordable health insurance to nearly 16 million Americans, Jeb Bush would get a tax cut of $33,023 from repealing the 3.8 percent net investment income surtax that helps fund the ACA.
  • Jeb Bush’s tax plan ensures the Bush family won’t pay estate taxes on their accrued wealth. Though only the wealthiest 0.18 percent of estates paid any estate taxes in 2013, the Bush family would likely benefit from Jeb Bush’s elimination of the estate tax at the expense of critical programs. This would be on top of the income tax savings Jeb Bush receives from his plan. The estate tax is a significant source of revenue, generating about $237 billion over 2016-2025 under current law. As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities warns, “If the estate tax were further weakened or repealed, other taxpayers would have to foot the bill for these programs, face cuts in the benefits and services provided, or bear the burden of a higher national debt.”

Jeb Bush may claim his tax plan will jumpstart the economy. But as Harry Stein, the Center for American Progress Action Fund’s Director of Fiscal Policy, points out as part of Time’s coverage of Bush’s plan, “we already know how things turned out after the first Bush tax cuts: federal budget surpluses turned into massive deficits and instead of widespread economic growth we got the Great Recession.” Even the conservative analysts at the Tax Foundation acknowledge that the top 1 percent would benefit the most from Jeb Bush’s plan and cost $3.6 trillion over 10 years, adding about $45,946 per child under 18 in the United States to our debt burden.

BOTTOM LINE: Though Jeb Bush and the very wealthy can certainly afford his tax plan, the middle class cannot afford another failed trickle-down plan. As Harry Stein puts it, “At a time when middle-class programs like Social Security and Medicare will need more revenue over the long-term to meet the needs of an aging population, this plan is simply not sustainable for the nation.”

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