More on Stephen Moore – 62% Doesn’t Pass Muster
In my original post on Stephen Moore’s claim of a prospective 62% top combined marginal tax rate , I gave Moore’s math a thumbs-up, assuming his assessment of the impact of so-called “PEP and Pease” deductions was accurate.
So much for the benefit of the doubt.
The Washington Post’s Fact Checker got some feedback noting that the deductions that PEP and Pease eliminated were mostly in the 36% bracket, and were completely phased out as income increased into the 39.6% bracket. So in Moore’s hypothetical, he’s counting as an increase something which taxpayers making more than $1M can’t take advantage of under current law. That’s not a tax increase, and shouldn’t be counted as an addition to current (or prospective) rates. This reduces Moore’s final number to just over 60%.
This is still high. But let’s not forget how we got here; Moore included in his scope every possible tax increase not just proposed, but mentioned by every leading Democrat in the last few months. This patchwork is a veritable Frankenstein’s monster of taxation, pieced together from here and there, without any consideration of viability. Were such a creation unleashed upon the land, the citizenry just might march on the Capitol with pitchforks and torches.
Or maybe just the stooges of those making more than $1M.