Taxes and the Economy: An Economic Analysis of the Top Tax Rates Since 1945

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on December 13, 2012

CRS – Taxes and the Economy: An Economic Analysis of the Top Tax Rates Since 1945 (Updated), Thomas L. Hungerford, Specialist in Public Finance. December 12, 2012

  • “Income tax rates are at the center of many recent policy debates over taxes. Some policymakers argue that raising tax rates, especially on higher income taxpayers, to increase tax revenues is part of the solution for long-term debt reduction. For example, in the 112th Congress the Senate passed the Middle Class Tax Cut (S. 3412), which would allow the 2001 and 2003 Bush-era tax cuts to expire for taxpayers with income over $250,000 ($200,000 for single taxpayers). Other policymakers argue that maintaining low tax rates is necessary to foster economic growth. For example, the House passed the Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012 (H.R. 8), which would extend the 2001 and 2003 Bush-era tax cuts for one year. The Senate also considered legislation, the Paying a Fair Share Act of 2012 (S. 2230), that would implement the so-called “Buffett rule” by raising the tax rate on high-income taxpayers.”
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