Second estimate finds Bush tax plan adds to debt

Second estimate finds Bush tax plan adds to debt
© Getty Images

Jeb Bush's tax plan would add well over $3 trillion to the deficit, according to a second estimate in as many days from Republican-friendly analysts.

The Tax Foundation, a free-market group, projected that the plan the 2016 GOP candidate released Wednesday would cut taxes by some $3.7 trillion over a decade. 

ADVERTISEMENT

A separate analysis that four conservative economists, including one of Bush's advisers, released Wednesday estimated that the former Florida governor's tax plan would add about $3.4 trillion to the federal debt.

Both those estimates assume that Bush's tax plan would do nothing to spur the economy, an idea that both analyses insisted was far-fetched.

A spokeswoman for Bush agreed: "The antiquated ‘static’ score is irrelevant, except to partisan liberals who think that we can tax our way to prosperity. We can’t," said Allie Brandenburger

Accounting for economic growth, the Tax Foundation found Bush's plan would cost $1.6 trillion over 10 years — not too different from Wednesday's projection of $1.2 trillion. Glenn Hubbard, one of Bush's advisers, helped craft that projection, along with John Cogan, Martin Feldstein and Kevin Warsh.

Bush's plan would slash the top corporate tax rate by more than 40 percent, from 35 percent to 20 percent. The top individual rate would drop to 28 percent, while the top rate on capital gains would fall to 20 percent. 

Businesses would be able to immediately write off a wide range of purchases, and offshore corporate earnings would largely be protected from the U.S. Treasury. 

In all, the Tax Foundation projects the Bush plan would increase the size of the economy by 10 percent over a decade, largely through the corporate rate reduction and the proposal to allow full business expensing. Bush has said his tax reform plan is a key part of his plan to grow the economy at a 4 percent yearly clip. 

But the group also found that the wealthy would get far more of the benefits from Bush's tax plan than the lowest earners, something that liberal analysts and Democrats have been saying since Bush released his plan. 

The top 1 percent of earners, for instance, would get a 11.6 percent increase in their incomes, the Tax Foundation found in its analysis that didn't account for economic growth. The bottom 20 percent, on the other hand, would see a wage boost of between 1 percent and 1.8 percent.

In its more dynamic analysis, the Tax Foundation projected the wealthiest would see a 16.4 percent jump in their income.