Price tag on Bush tax plan: $3.4t over 10 years

GOP contender Jeb Bush’s new tax plan would cut taxes by roughly $3.4 trillion over a decade, according to a new estimate from four prominent conservative economists. 

The economists say the $3.4 trillion figure assumes that Bush’s plan, unveiled Wednesday, had no positive impact on the economy.

ADVERTISEMENT

A more realistic figure, they say, is that Bush proposes to cut taxes by around $1.2 trillion over a decade – a roughly 3 percent cut in federal revenues. The economists said they arrived at the lower figure by accounting for economic growth from both Bush’s tax and regulatory proposals.

The former Florida governor’s broader fiscal plan also won’t add to the deficit, the economists said.

“The remaining revenue loss would be offset by reasonable, incremental feedback effects from the tax and regulatory reforms, meaningful spending restraint across the federal budget, and growth and feedback effects from Governor Bush’s forthcoming proposals to restrain federal spending and reform health care policy, the nation’s education system, energy policy, trade, and immigration policy,” John Cogan, Martin Feldstein, Glenn Hubbard and Kevin Warsh wrote.

Hubbard is an economic adviser to Bush’s campaign, while Feldstein is one of the top advocates for one of the key planks of the Bush plan – capping how much taxpayers can claim in individual tax deductions like the incentive for mortgage interest.

For comparison’s sake, the income tax cuts that former President George W. Bush signed into law in 2001 were first estimated to have cost around $1.35 trillion over a decade.

Jeb Bush’s tax plan calls for, among other things, reducing the top individual tax rate to 28 percent and the top corporate rate to 20 percent – down from 39.6 percent and 35 percent, respectively.

Bush would also scrap the estate tax, reduce the top rate on capital gains from 23.8 percent to 20 percent by removing the investment surtax enacted under ObamaCare, and allow businesses to immediately write off expenses.