House Ways and Means Chairman Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) on Monday said tax cuts benefiting the wealthy and enacted under President George W. Bush will expire at the end of the year. He cited growth disparities in income between the middle class and the wealthy as a key reason for allowing the upper brackets to return to pre-2001 levels.
"During the last economic expansion, between '01 to '07, the top 1 percent of Americans received two-thirds of the increase in national income while the middle class income essentially stagnated," he told an audience at the National Press Club. "The divergence of income we've seen in the last decade means we should keep the middle class income tax cuts and let those for the very wealthy expire. And I think that is going to eventually happen."
The Bush tax cuts are slated to expire after Dec. 31. Absent congressional action, the 33 and 35 percent brackets will increase to 36 and 39.5 percent, respectfully. The change would garner an extra $680 billion in revenue over the next 10 years.