NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Tax Burden Would Be Higher If Not For Reagan Tax Cuts

May 5, 2000

Sen. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) recently asked the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation what the nation's taxes would be like if President Ronald Reagan's tax cuts hadn't been enacted in 1981.

The committee concluded that individual tax liabilities would be approximately 50 percent higher than under current law. Moreover, taxpayers in every income tax bracket would be paying substantially more if the 1980 code had remained in place.

  • Those making less than $10,000 a year would have an effective tax rate of 10.5 percent -- rather than 8.3 percent under current law.
  • Earners with incomes of $30,000 to $40,000 would be shelling out 23.6 percent -- instead of 16.3 percent.
  • Those making $75,000 to $100,000 would be seeing 36.3 percent eaten up in taxes -- rather than 22.7 under current law.
  • The average for all taxpayers would be 33.2 percent -- rather than the current 21.4 percent.

Stephen Entin, president of the Institute for Research in the Economics of Taxation, has calculated that the average American family who made $46,737 in 1998 would be paying $7,077 more in income taxes per year if the 1980 law had remained in effect.

That amounts to a whopping 264 percent increase.

Vice President Al Gore claims credit for voting against the reductions in 1981.

Source: Richard Rahn (Discovery Institute), "Adding Up the Gore Tax Burden," Washington Times, May 5, 2000.


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