The Koch Agenda

Medicare

Koch Founded And Funded Groups Support Turning Medicare Into a Voucher Program

Citizens for a Sound Economy

Citizens for a Sound Economy Proposed Privatization of Medicare.  According to the St. Petersburg Times:
“Ferrara proposes gradually privatizing Social Security through ‘super IRAs’ (individual retirement accounts). Social Security benefits would continue for those now getting them, but workers could take tax credits for their contributions to the expanded IRAs.  Eventually, the IRAs would be the source of benefits now received from Social Security – retirement income, Medicare, disability insurance.

This also would save the federal government huge amounts of money, Ferrara says, and pare the size of the federal bureaucracy.  A similar plan for Medicare was put forth this year by Michael Becker, an analyst for the Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation, a conservative research organization based in Washington.  Claiming that “attempts to limit medical costs by bureaucratic intervention and price-setting are undermining the quality of care senior citizens receive,” Becker says Americans should be allowed to establish Health Care Savings Accounts for which workers would receive income tax credits.”  [St. Petersburg Times, 12/13/1987]

CSE Was Created In 1984 By David Koch And Richard Fink. According to the New Yorker, “In 1984, David Koch and Richard Fink created yet another organization, and [President of FreedomWorks Matt] Kibbe joined them. The group, Citizens for a Sound Economy, seemed like a grassroots movement, but according to the Center for Public Integrity it was sponsored principally by the Kochs, who provided $7.9 million between 1986 and 1993.” [New Yorker, 8/30/10]

CSE Was “Principally” Sponsored By The Kochs, Who Gave $7.9 Million To The Group Between 1986 And 1993.

According to the New Yorker, “The group, Citizens for a Sound Economy, seemed like a grassroots movement, but according to the Center for Public Integrity it was sponsored principally by the Kochs, who provided $7.9 million between 1986 and 1993.” [New Yorker, 8/30/10]

Americans for Prosperity

Americans For Prosperity Was Founded By David Koch. According to FactCheck.org, “Founded by billionaire businessman and conservative/libertarian political activist David Koch, Americans for Prosperity has emerged as one of the most influential conservative issue advocacy groups on the national and state political scene. A major force behind the Tea Party movement, AFP seeks to support free markets and entrepreneurship by advocating lower taxes and limited government spending and regulation.” [FactCheck.org, 10/10/11]

David Koch Is Chairman Of Americans For Prosperity Foundation. According to Americans for Prosperity Foundation’s website, which lists David Koch as “Chairman,” “David Koch is the executive vice president and a member of the board of directors for Koch Industries, Inc., based in Wichita, Kansas. He helped found Americans For Prosperity, and also serves on the board of directors for the Reason Foundation and the CATO Institute. David was the Libertarian Party candidate for vice president of the United States in 1980. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degree in chemical engineering from MIT.”  [AmericansForProsperityFoundation.com, accessed 3/17/14]

2011: AFP Backed FY 2012 Ryan Budget, Which Replaced Medicare With A Premium Support Plan. According to AFP’s congressional scorecard for the 112th Congress, AFP took a “yes” position the House vote on House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) proposed budget resolution covering fiscal years 2012 to 2021 which included a proposal to replace Medicare with a premium support plan. According to the Congressional Research Service, “Under the new system, Medicare would pay a portion of the beneficiaries’ premiums, i.e., provide ‘premium support.’ The payments would be adjusted for age, health status, and income and would be paid directly by the government to the insurance plan selected by the Medicare beneficiary. In addition, plans with healthier enrollees, would be required to help subsidize plans with less healthy enrollees.” The vote was 2011 House vote 277. [AFP Scorecard for the 112th Congress, 2/1/13; CRS Report #R41767, 4/13/11]

  • Wall Street Journal: Ryan Plan “Would Essentially End Medicare.”  According to the Wall Street Journal, “Republicans will present this week a 2012 budget proposal that would cut more than $4 trillion from federal spending projected over the next decade and transform the Medicare health program for the elderly, a move that will dramatically reshape the budget debate in Washington. […] The plan would essentially end Medicare, which now pays most of the health-care bills for 48 million elderly and disabled Americans, as a program that directly pays those bills. Mr. Ryan and other conservatives say this is necessary because of the program’s soaring costs.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/4/11]

2012: AFP Backed FY 2013 Ryan Budget, Which Replaced Medicare With A Premium Support Plan.According to AFP’s congressional scorecard for the 112th Congress, AFP took a “yes” position on the House vote on House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) proposed budget resolution covering fiscal years 2013 to 2022 which included a proposal to replace Medicare with a premium support plan. According to the House Budget Committee, “For those workers currently under the age of 55, beginning in 2023, those seniors would be given a choice of private plans competing alongside the traditional fee-for-service option on a newly created Medicare Exchange. Medicare would provide a premium-support payment either to pay for or offset the premium of the plan chosen by the senior.” The vote was 2012 House vote 151. [AFP Scorecard for the 112th Congress, 2/1/13; House Budget Committee, 3/20/12]

2013: AFP Backed FY 2014 Ryan Budget, Which Replaced Medicare With A Premium Support Plan. According to AFP’s congressional scorecard website, AFP took a “yes” position on the House vote on House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) proposed budget resolution covering fiscal years 2014 to 2023, which included a proposal to replace Medicare with a premium support plan. According to the House Budget Committee, “Beginning in 2024, for those workers born in 1959 or later, Medicare would offer them a choice of private plans competing alongside the traditional fee-for-service option on a new Medicare Exchange. Medicare would provide a premium-support payment either to pay for or to offset the premium of the plan chosen by the senior.” The vote was 2013 House vote 88. [AFP Scorecard website, viewed 5/7/14; House Budget Committee, 3/12/13]

Social Security

David Koch Ran For Vice President On Ticket That Called For Abolishing Social Security

David Koch Ran As Vice-Presidential Nominee on Libertarian Party Ticket In 1980.  According to The New York Times: “It was 1980, and the candidate was David H. Koch, a 40-year-old bachelor living in a rent-stabilized apartment in New York City. Mr. Koch, the vice-presidential nominee for the Libertarian Party, and his older brother Charles, one of the party’s leading funders, were mounting a long-shot assault on the fracturing American political establishment.”  [New York Times, 5/17/14]

Politico: “Clark And Koch Promised To Abolish Social Security, Corporate Taxes, Minimum-Wage Laws.”  According to Politico: “Koch ran with Libertarian presidential candidate Ed Clark in 1980, against Republican Ronald Reagan and Democrat Jimmy Carter. Clark and Koch promised to abolish Social Security, corporate taxes, minimum-wage laws.” [Politico,4/14/14]

Clark-Koch Campaign Wanted To Remove Those Under 40-Years Of Age From The Social Security System.According to a press release from the Clark for President Committee, “A key element in the proposal would be the removal of all Americans under 40 from the system. Individuals over 40 would be guaranteed benefits now due them.” [Clark for President Committee, 9/24/80]

Clark-Koch Called Social Security “The Most Serious Threat To The Future Stability Of Our Society Next To The Threat Of Nuclear War.” According to a press release from the Clark for President Committee, “Clark said Social Security ‘the most serious threat to the future stability of our society next to the threat of nuclear war.’” [Clark for President Committee, 9/24/80]

Americans for Prosperity

AFP Foundation Supports Private Social Security Accounts. According to Americans for Prosperity Foundation, Thankfully, there is a better way. We could empower workers with a choice: stay with the tax-and-benefit system of Social Security as it is now, or save and invest your same payroll tax contributions through a personal savings account. Instead of seeing their hard-earned dollars funneled through Washington to pay for current retirees’ benefits, workers would truly own and control the accumulated funds and could invest them with a wide variety of investment funds offering different mixes of stocks and bonds and different levels of risk and reward.” [AmericansForProsperityFoundation.com, February 2012]

AFP Foundation: “Social Security Is A Really Bad Deal For Workers.” According to the Americans for Prosperity Founadtion, “In its current form, Social Security is a really bad deal for workers. Not only is every penny of payroll taxes spent on current beneficiaries or Congress’s pet projects. But even if we treat Social Security like a typical pension fund (which it’s not), the returns on workers’ lifetime payroll tax investments are very low. Except for those with very low income, a typical worker’s Social Security contributions will come back with returns of just 2 and 3 percent in retirement, far lower than long-run returns on the stock market of 6 to 7 percent. The deal gets worse for younger people – their returns will only be about 1.5 percent.” [AmericansForProsperityFoundation.com, October 2011]

Environmental Protections

Koch Industries Was Ranked #15 On The “Toxic 100 Air Polluters Index.” According to the “Toxic 100 Air Polluters Index,” produced by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Koch Industries was the 15th worst corporate air polluter in the United States. According to a press release provided by the Institute along with an updated index in August 2013, “The Toxic 100 Air Polluters index is based on air releases of hundreds of distinct chemicals from tens of thousands of industrial facilities across the United States. The rankings take into account not only the quantity of releases, but also the toxicity of chemicals, transport factors such as prevailing winds and height of smokestacks, and the number of people exposed.  The top five air polluters among large corporations are Precision Castparts, DuPont, the Bayer Group, Dow Chemicals and ExxonMobil.* Since 2010 the Toxic 100 Air Polluters rankings has included large privately held firms, such as number fifteen Koch Industries, as well as the world’s largest publicly traded corporations.” [Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts Amherst, “Toxic 100 Air Polluters Index,” 8/19/13]

Koch Industries Was Ranked #30 On The “Toxic 100 Water Polluters Index.” According to the “Toxic 100 Water Polluters Index,” produced by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Koch Industries was the 30th worst corporate water polluter in the United States. [Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts Amherst, “Toxic 100 Water Polluters Index,” 5/13]

Lobbyists For Koch And Koch Subsidiaries Have “Have Resisted Tighter Government Regulation Of A Gallery Of Toxic And Carcinogenic Substances, Like Asbestos, Formaldehyde And Benzene.”  According to The Center for Public Integrity:   “It isn’t just dioxin that has drawn Koch’s interest. On Capitol Hill, and in regulatory proceedings, Koch lobbyists and officials have resisted tighter government regulation of a gallery of toxic and carcinogenic substances, like asbestos, formaldehyde and benzene.  ‘GP strongly disagrees with the [National Toxicology Program] panel’s conclusion to list formaldehyde, a natural component of every cell in the body, as a human carcinogen,” wrote Traylor Champion, the firm’s vice president for environmental affairs, in a February 2010 letter.  ‘Costly control requirements are being mandated on sources that have insignificant levels of HAP (hazardous air pollutants) emissions,’ a Georgia-Pacific environmental health and safety manager, James Eckenrode, complained to the EPA in November 2008, when it sought to apply tougher air pollution standards on the firm’s manufacture of resins and formaldehyde.”  [Center for Public Integrity, 4/6/11]

Lobbyists for Koch and Koch Subsidiaries Have “Have Resisted Tighter Government Regulation Of A Gallery Of Toxic And Carcinogenic Substances, Like Asbestos, Formaldehyde And Benzene.”  According to The Center for Public Integrity:   “It isn’t just dioxin that has drawn Koch’s interest. On Capitol Hill, and in regulatory proceedings, Koch lobbyists and officials have resisted tighter government regulation of a gallery of toxic and carcinogenic substances, like asbestos, formaldehyde and benzene.  ‘GP strongly disagrees with the [National Toxicology Program] panel’s conclusion to list formaldehyde, a natural component of every cell in the body, as a human carcinogen,” wrote Traylor Champion, the firm’s vice president for environmental affairs, in a February 2010 letter.  ‘Costly control requirements are being mandated on sources that have insignificant levels of HAP (hazardous air pollutants) emissions,’ a Georgia-Pacific environmental health and safety manager, James Eckenrode, complained to the EPA in November 2008, when it sought to apply tougher air pollution standards on the firm’s manufacture of resins and formaldehyde.”  [Center for Public Integrity, 4/6/11]

Koch and Subsidiaries Lobbied Against Regulations On Naming of Formaldehyde as Known Carcinogen.  According to the Center for Public Integrity: “GP strongly disagrees with the [National Toxicology Program] panel’s conclusion to list formaldehyde, a natural component of every cell in the body, as a human carcinogen,” wrote Traylor Champion, the firm’s vice president for environmental affairs, in a February 2010 letter.”  [Center for Public Integrity, 4/6/11]

Koch and Subsidiaries Lobbied Against Application of  Air Pollution Standards On Firm’s Manufacture of Resins and Formaldehyde.  According to The Center for Public Integrity: “Costly control requirements are being mandated on sources that have insignificant levels of HAP (hazardous air pollutants) emissions,” a Georgia-Pacific environmental health and safety manager, James Eckenrode, complained to the EPA in November 2008, when it sought to apply tougher air pollution standards on the firm’s manufacture of resins and formaldehyde.”  [Center for Public Integrity, 4/6/11]

Koch Industries Subsidiary Complained About EPA Efforts to Apply Tougher Air Pollution Standards to Subsidiary That Produced Resins and Formaldehyde.  According to the Center for Public Integrity: “Costly control requirements are being mandated on sources that have insignificant levels of HAP (hazardous air pollutants) emissions,’ a Georgia-Pacific environmental health and safety manager, James Eckenrode, complained to the EPA in November 2008, when it sought to apply tougher air pollution standards on the firm’s manufacture of resins and formaldehyde.  [Center for Public Integrity, 4/6/2011]

Americans for Prosperity

Americans for Prosperity Said That EPA’s Efforts to Expand Clean Water Act Were Attack On Judicial Deference, “That Basic Tenant of American Law Is Under Threat.”  According to AFP: EPA’s action withdrawing the stalled guidance and circulating a proposed rule for interagency review could also signal the agency’s renewed confidence that the Supreme Court will give it more deference over jurisdictional disputes than it has in the past.  This agency confidence likely stems from the recently decided Arlington v. FCC case.  In Arlington, the Court ruled that agencies get coveted Chevron deference when deciding the scope of their own jurisdiction.  This level of deference from courts to agencies is rarely violated by agencies.  So long as the agency makes a reasonable interpretation of the statute, the court is likely to defer.  This deference has led to an ever-expanding administrative state.  In his dissent, Chief Justice Roberts reminded that “Agencies are creatures of Congress; an agency literally has no power to act … unless and until Congress confers power upon it.”  That basic tenant of American law is under threat and EPA is pushing hard to expand its authority under Clean Water Act section 404.”  [Americans for Prosperity, 6/30/14]

AFP: “Mercury Regulations For Coal Plants Are Still Neither Appropriate Nor Necessary.” According to Americans for Prosperity Foundation, “Twenty-two years after the EPA’s original mandate to study the effects of mercury emissions from power plants, mercury regulations for coal plants are still neither appropriate nor necessary. The Utility MACT rule will needlessly devastate the coal industry in this country, taking thousands of jobs, reliable electricity, and billions of dollars with it. Thankfully, the EPA has not fared well in the courts this year, making a win by the 24 state attorney generals a real possibility.” [Americans For Prosperity, September 2012]

AFP: “Policies That Strengthen The Economy And Support Free-Market Principles Have Done Far More To Advance Environmental And Conservation Goals Over The Years Than Any Restrictive Government Regulation.” According to Americans for Prosperity Foundation, “Some conservatives worry that sustainable development is just a disguise for a larger scheme to adopt radical environmentalism, wealth redistribution, or some form of ‘world government’ through local initiatives. But whether this is true is largely irrelevant: regardless of the underlying motives and regardless of the source, the policies themselves prove to be an affront to property rights and harmful to the American economy. To those who favor economic freedom and limited government, this alone is grounds for concern. […] The goals of ‘sustainable development’ are in many cases laudable: protecting the environment and being good stewards of our country’s land and resources are indeed important. But what conservative activists must remember is that policies that strengthen the economy and support free-market principles have done far more to advance environmental and conservation goals over the years than any restrictive government regulation.” [Americans For Prosperity, March 2012]

AFP: “Hidden In The [Endangered Species] Act’s Wildlife Protections Are Property Rights Violations Just Waiting To Happen.” According to Americans for Prosperity Foundation, “The [Endangered Species Act] has sparked controversy because it brings government interventions into conflict with owners’ property rights. If a property owner has a protected species on their land, the government can limit or ban activities on that land which may harm the species. This includes any action ‘significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns, including breeding, feeding or sheltering’ or that disturbs a species’ habitat – a troublingly broad definition. […] Protecting endangered wildlife is an important and laudable goal, but too often ESA regulations go much too far in putting the interests of plants and animals above economic growth and the well-being of American citizens. Moreover, hidden in the Act’s wildlife protections are property rights violations just waiting to happen.” [Americans For Prosperity, January 2012]

Minimum Wage

Charles Koch: Minimum Wage Is An “Obstacle” And “We’ve Got To Clear Those Out.”  According to the Wichita Eagle, “In his interview he [Charles Koch] emphasized several times that he believes his ideas on economics will help disadvantaged people. Government regulations – including the minimum wage law – tend to hold everyone back, he said. […] ‘Anything that people with limited capital can do to raise themselves up, they keep throwing obstacles in their way. And so we’ve got to clear those out. Or the minimum wage. Or anything that reduces the mobility of labor.’” [Wichita Eagle, 7/9/13]

Clark-Koch: “We Should Abolish The Minimum Wage Laws.” In the book, “A New Beginning,” Clark-Koch wrote: “We should abolish the minimum wage laws and licensing laws so that people can once again be free to compete and to work, so that no bureaucrat or politician backed by special interested can ever again stand between a human being and a chance to work for a living, bringing with it the dignity of self-reliance, not the dehumanizing dependency of helpless poverty and unemployment.” [A New Beginning, p. 97, August 1980]

Koch Industries Newsletter: Minimum Wage Decreases Productivity, Increases Unemployment, Increases Costs of Hiring.  According to Koch Industries: “Government-mandated transfers from one group to another don’t solve the problems of lower productivity and  higher unemployment.  In fact, they make those problems worse.  If the government insists that  someone should be paid $50  per hour in wages and benefits,  but that person only creates  $30 worth of value, no one will  prosper for long.   In a scenario such as this, as businesses lose money because of the government’s  policy, employees will end up losing their jobs and fewer (if any) new employees  will be hired. Consequently, the result of what sounded  good – making a guaranteed $50 per hour  – will not be prosperity, it will be higher unemployment.”  [Discovery, October 2010]

Koch Industries’ Newsletter: “Anything That Undermines The Mobility Of Labor, Such As Policies That Make It More Expensive And Difficult To Change Where People Are Employed…Increases Unemployment.” According to Discovery, “Anything that undermines the mobility of labor, such as policies that make it more expensive and difficult to change where people are employed, also increases unemployment.” [Discovery, October 2010]

AFP Foundation: Minimum Wage Represents “Failed Government Intervention”; “Policymakers Should Let Individuals And Businesses Freely Decide What Wage Levels Are Appropriate.” According to the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, “The history of minimum wage laws in the United States tells the story of a failed government intervention into the economy. Minimum wage laws have the unintended consequence of increasing unemployment and reducing opportunities for young and low-skilled job seekers. Despite these discouraging outcomes, politicians have continued to press for a higher minimum wage. For too long, this has hindered Americans in their quest for prosperity. Instead of creating more labor market barriers, policymakers should let individuals and businesses freely decide what wage levels are appropriate.” [AmericansForProsperityFoundation.com, March 2012]

Taxes

Citizens For Tax Justice: Koch’s AFP Wants To “Cut Taxes On The Wealthy By Huge Amounts” And “Increase Taxes Sharply On The Middle- And Low-Income American Families.” According to Citizens for Tax Justice, “In other words, AFP wants to cut taxes on the wealthy by huge amounts. Some of the details of how AFP would achieve its goal include: a large, although unspecified  reduction in the top personal income tax rate, lower taxes on capital gains, and what amounts to the virtual elimination of the corporate income tax. Having called for gigantic tax cuts for the wealthy, AFP also says that it wants its plan to raise the same amount of tax revenues as current tax law (page 1). Under the laws of arithmetic, there is only one way to reconcile these two goals: AFP wants to increase taxes sharply on the middle- and low-income American families.” [CTJ.org, 6/19/14]

CBPP: The Kochs’ “Tax Reform Dream Would Be Injurious To Working And Middle-Class Americans, Who Would Have To Pay Higher Taxes.” According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “These priorities have two common elements:  a very large drain on federal revenues and a very large tilt toward the nation’s wealthiest individuals.  This tax reform dream would be injurious to working and middle-class Americans, who would have to pay higher taxes to help make up for the massive revenue losses, face deep cuts in key programs — likely including programs such as Medicare — to accommodate the large revenue losses, or both.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Off the Charts Blog, 7/15/14]

AFP Tax Plan Called for Cutting Tax On Foreign Corporate Profits to Essentially Zero, Repealing Estate Tax, Slashing Top Income Tax Rate.  According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:  Americans for Prosperity, for instance, outlined a tax reform plan that not only embraced full expensing but also included:

Cutting the tax rate on corporations’ foreign profits essentially to zero; Repealing the estate tax;  Eliminating all limits on contributions to retirement accounts, which would primarily benefit very affluent individuals; and

Slashing the top income tax rate.  (Americans for Prosperity cited House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s proposal to cut the top rate from 39.6 percent to 25 percent and Senator Rand Paul’s proposal to replace all tax brackets with a flat 17 percent rate.)”   [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Off the Charts Blog, 7/15/14]

Ryan Budget

2011: AFP Backed FY 2012 Ryan Budget, Which Consolidated Income Tax Brackets And Set A Top Marginal Rate Of 25 Percent. According to AFP’s congressional scorecard for the 112th Congress, AFP took a “yes” position on the House vote on House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) proposed budget resolution covering fiscal years 2012 to 2021, which, according to the House Budget Committee, included a proposal to “consolidate tax brackets and lower tax rates, with a top rate of 25 percent.” The vote was 2011 House vote 277. [AFP Scorecard for the 112th Congress, 2/1/13; House Budget Committee, 4/5/11]

  • FY 2012 Ryan Budget Would Have Made Permanent The 2001 And 2003 Bush Tax Cuts That Disproportionately Favored The Wealthy. According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, “The House budget would permanently lock in all of the Bush tax cuts, which flow disproportionately to high-income people.  It also would make permanent the relief from the AMT that now is regularly extended every year or two.  The Congressional Budget Office estimates that extending these tax cuts would cost $3.8 trillion over the coming decade, the vast majority of which would be attributable to the Bush tax cuts. [3]  The House budget essentially would finance these tax cuts with extremely large budget cuts, including cuts in a number of key programs for people with low or moderate incomes.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 5/26/11]
  • Ryan’s Proposal To Go Beyond The Bush Tax Cuts And Lower The Top Tax Rate To 25 Percent Would Have Primarily Benefited High-Income Earners; 95 Percent Of Americans Would Have Received No Benefit. According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, “Reducing the top income tax rate to 25 percent would primarily benefit households with the highest incomes. For example, a family with two children and an income of $1 million (of which we assumed $850,000 comes from earnings) would receive an annual tax cut of $51,000 from lowering the top rate to 25 percent, which would be in addition to the $64,000 the family would get from extending all of the Bush tax cuts. And family with an income of $10 million (and $8.5 million in earnings) would receive a tax cut of $730,000 a year from the reduction in the top rate. In contrast, 95 percent of Americans would receive no benefit at all from lowering the top rate to 25 percent, because they would already be in the 25 percent tax bracket or a lower bracket (assuming that the Bush tax cuts were extended, as the House budget envisions).” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 5/26/11]

Tax Policy Center’s Roberton Williams: Ryan Budget’s Tax Plan Would “Almost Certainly Shift More Of The Tax Burden To Low- And Middle-Income Families.” According to a blog post by the Tax Policy Center’s Roberton Williams on the TPC’s blog TaxVox, “The Tax Policy Center estimates that reducing the top tax rate to 25 percent would cut tax revenues by $2.9 trillion over the coming decade. Virtually all of the tax savings from that change would go to households making upwards of $200,000—the 5 percent of tax units who currently face marginal rates over 25 percent (including for the AMT). By itself, that tax cut would make the income tax decidedly less progressive than it is today. Chopping away at the thicket of tax expenditures would reclaim some or all of the revenue lost to the rate cut and raise taxes on affected households. Because the House leaves that process entirely to the Ways and Means Committee, we know nothing about which taxpayers would lose the benefit of those tax preferences. But unless all of the costs fall on the top 5 percent who benefit from the rate cut, any reduction in tax expenditures must raise taxes on low- and middle-income households. Taking away tax benefits for high-income households would claw back some of tax savings the rich would get from the lower top rate but wouldn’t erase those gains entirely. […] Following the House budget resolution would almost certainly shift more of the tax burden to low- and middle-income households and yield a less progressive tax system. Combining that with deep spending cuts doesn’t look like an equitable sharing of the costs of bringing the budget deficit under control.” [Williams post, TaxVox, 4/18/11]