Sloppy Analysis by the Heritage Foundation
In my article here at AT yesterday, I defended the Republican support for the 157-page American Taxpayer Relief Tax Act of 2012. Today in NewsMax, they quote someone at the Heritage Foundation detailing the "tax increases" contained in the bill. The biggest one is the expiration of the FICA tax holiday which will lead to around $160B in higher taxes, compared to last year. The second biggest is the 39.6% rate for taxpayers in the top bracket ($400.000 to $450,000) which will lead to around $60B in higher taxes, compared to last year. He also lists several other smaller expirations which will lead to a total of around $60B in higher taxes, compared to last year. He goes on to estimate a ten year hit to taxpayers of $2.5T, as if anyone has a clue.
All of these are "increases" compared to an old law which expired on December 31. 2012. There is no unanimity of estimates. I can't find a definitive analysis yet. But presumably, the permanent renewal of the Bush tax cuts, the AMT fix, and assorted other actual tax cuts total more than the $270B of expired cuts alluded to by Heritage.
This is the kind of misleading analysis that hurts the Republican brand. They highlight the tax increases from last year's base rather than the huge tax cuts from current law as of January 1, 2013. True, Republicans didn't get every cut they wanted, but this bill didn't increase anybody's taxes. We don't need the self-styled intellectual arm of conservatism adding to the bad spin of the media.