All liberal debt plans raise taxes to historically unprecedented levels 

This January Peter G. Peterson Foundation paid six think tanks $200,000 each to produce long-term budget plans that would reduce our nation’s debt. Today all six plan were revealed. You can read them here.

The six tanks are the American Enterprise Institute, the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Center for American Progress, the Economic Policy Institute, The Heritage Foundation, and the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network.

All but the only conservative groups in the mix (Heritage and AEI) call for raising taxes to levels unprecedented in American history. According to the Tax Policy Center, taxes have only risen above 20% of gross domestic product (GDP) twice in U.S. history: to 20.9% at the tale end of World War II (1944) and to 20.6% right before the tech bubble burst (2000). The average tax burden since 1981 has been 18% of GDP.

All four of the liberal budgets blow way past the 20.9% high-tax record. CAP hikes taxes to 23.8% of GDP, BPC to 23.1%, Roosevelt to 22.9%, and EPI to 24.1%.

But despite all that liberal tax raising, The Heritage Foundation still leads the league in deficit reduction. By cutting spending to 17.7% of GDP by 2035, Heritage reduces publicly held debt to just 30% of GDP. Both Heritage and AEI embrace a Path to Prosperity-like premium-support Medicare plan.

Other nuggets:

  • AEI supports a carbon tax.
  • CAP would empower Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) to set price controls for the entire health care industry, not just Medicare.
  • Both AEI and Heritage eliminate all regressive payroll taxes. Heritage scraps the current tax code in favor of a flat tax on all income not saved. AEI opts for a progressive consumption tax.
  • CAP, EPI, and Roosevelt all add a public option on top of Obamacare.
  • Heritage creates a flat $1,200 a month Social Security benefit that phases out as income rises. AEI has a similar plan, but their monthly payment starts at $850.
  • Everybody but CAP and EPI lower the corporate tax rate.
  • CAP, EPI, and Roosevelt all heavily increase education, energy, and infrastructure spending.

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Conn Carroll

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