NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Comparing the Ryan and Murray Budget Plans

March 27, 2013

Passing a budget is an apparently difficult task for Congress lately. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) proposed a budget that was passed in the House of Representatives and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) proposed a budget that was passed in the Senate. Each budget specifies a revenue floor and a spending target for each budget area but fails to provide many specifics. The lower tax rates and smaller government in the Ryan plan would be best for the economy, says Stephen Entin, a senior fellow at the Tax Foundation.

  • The Ryan plan lowers the 15 percent statutory individual income tax rate to 10 percent and lowers all higher individual tax rates to 25 percent.
  • The plan also repeals the Affordable Care Act (ACA) high income surtax, the investment income surtax and the alternative minimum tax, and cuts the corporate income tax rate to 25 percent.
  • The Murray tax plan limits the benefits of itemized deductions to 15 percent of the amount, increases taxes on upper income individuals and also extends a number of refundable credits.

The Tax Foundation model shows that the Ryan tax reductions would raise gross domestic product (GDP) and labor income by 6 percent, which equals roughly 8 million additional full time jobs. For each dollar of net tax increase, GDP would rise by $6.20 and more than half of the revenue loss from reduced tax rates would be recovered through increased GDP and employment.

In contrast, the Murray plan tax increases would reduce GDP and labor income by less than 1 percent and for each dollar of net tax increase, GDP would fall by $1.60. More than 25 percent of the revenue gains from increased tax rates would be lost because of reduced GDP and employment.

  • In the Ryan plan, the tax cuts would be directed towards those with upper income because the ACA raises tax rates on those with high income.
  • The Murray tax plan would increase taxes on people in the upper income brackets, which would reduce the number of hours worked and wages earned.
  • With tax hikes, income would fall at all levels; with tax reductions, income will rise substantially across all income brackets.

The health of the economy improves when the size of the federal government is reduced. Lower taxes will reduce the burden on individuals and businesses, and will lead to economic recovery.

Source: Stephen Entin, "The Ryan and Murray Budget Plans," Tax Foundation, March 20, 2013.


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