Dem tax-writer targets GOP on income inequality

The Congressional Budget Office said in a report last year that higher earners had seen their income rise much more quickly than the middle- and lower-class in recent decades, and the Hamilton Project report noted that the typical American family had seen their income level off over the last 45 years or so.

Democrats have also made fairness the central part of their election-year message on tax reform, with President Obama and other officials pushing the so-called Buffett Rule. Republicans have opposed those efforts, and countered by pressing for tax breaks for small businesses.

In their most recent budget, House Republicans called for implementing just two individual tax rates, 10 percent and 25 percent, down from the current six brackets and top 35 percent rate. 

But Levin and other Democrats have said that the GOP plan would require the rolling back of tax preferences, like those for health care and mortgages, relied on by the middle-class. 

“Republicans would make matters worse with tax proposals that would require scaling back provisions that – as reflected in the report – are vital to middle- and lower-income families, even as they maintain those provisions that benefit the very wealthy, adding to the nation’s deficit,” Levin said.

Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), a driving force behind the House GOP tax reform plan, has said that not all tax preferences would need to be eliminated under the GOP plan. Camp also says the Republican plan would make over an outdated tax code, and spur economic growth and investment.