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Dem Budget Includes $1.5 Trillion in Tax Hikes

8:19 PM, Mar 13, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
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The Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee claims the budget released today by Senate Democrats will raise taxes by $1.5 trillion. Before being released today, it had been reported that the Democrats' budget would raise taxes by $1 trillion, but number appears to have been far enough. 

The minority side of the Senate Budget Committee releases this chart to back up its claim:

The numbers refer to a PDF version of the budget released by Budget chair Patty Murray just a couple hours ago.

"For two days, through leaked talking points and in today’s budget committee round of opening statements, Patty Murray suggested her budget had $975 in revenue," writes a Senate Budget Committee staffer from the Republican side. "Turns out that’s just not so.  The below table shows where in the attached document you’ll find a number of proposed tax hikes, for a total of $1.5 trillion. Further, in today’s hearing Murray stated that the tax hikes are closing 'loopholes' that 'mainly benefit the well-off and well-connected.' Mainly?  What does that mean?"

Another Republican Senate Budget aide explains. "The Senate Democrats’ budget claims to increase taxes $975B over the next ten years.  They are actually hiding an additional $500 billion in tax proposals buried in their 113 page budget document ('Restoring the Promise of American Opportunity')." 

The aide goes on:

First, at the top of page 8 they propose $100 billion dollars for a “jobs and infrastructure” package that “is fully paid for by eliminating loopholes and cutting wasteful spending in the tax code . . . “.  This provision is hidden in the resolution itself as a so-called reserve fund (section 308).

Second, in the middle of page 21 they propose that “The budget replaces sequestration using the following equal mix of responsible spending cuts and new revenue . . . .”  This includes “$480 billion in new revenue raised by closing loopholes and ending wasteful deductions . . . .”  This is implemented through a reserve fund in the resolution (section 403).

Finally, on page 66 the budget document says “The Senate Budget calls for deficit reduction of $975 billion to be achieve eliminate loopholes and cutting unfair and inefficient spending in the tax code . . . .”  This is the amount the Chairman refers to and the resolution directs the Finance Committee to provide this amount.  However, this $975 billion includes $164 billion to extend refundable tax credits that were originally adopted in the stimulus bill.  These tax credits are actually checks sent to people that do not owe income tax and, therefore, according to CBO, are increases in spending.  Subtracting the $164 billion from $975 billion leaves a $923 billion tax hike (which is then added to the additional $580).

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