By Sam Baker - 01/31/12 05:03 PM EST
Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) said Tuesday that closing a Medicare tax loophole would save the government more than $10 billion — including about $69,000 from Newt Gingrich.
Stark introduced a bill to close a loophole that allows people to avoid paying Medicare taxes by channeling their income through corporations. Stark said the loophole helped Gingrich avoid paying $69,000 in taxes in 2010. Stark’s bill — the Narrowing Exemptions for Withholding Taxes (NEWT) Act — would subject more people to the Medicare tax.
“It seems Gingrich is continuing to do his part — in his own infamous words — to let Medicare ‘wither on the vine,’” Stark said in a statement. “By taking full advantage of a tax loophole often used by wealthy self-employed lawyers and lobbyists to slash their tax liability, Gingrich is happy to undermine Medicare. This tax dodge throws cold water on his feigned concern for the future of Medicare.”
The same policy passed the House in 2009 as part of a larger package. According to Stark’s office, the Joint Committee on Taxation said at the time that it would save the government $11.2 billion over 10 years.