According to a new analysis by Congress's nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), unwinding beloved U.S. tax breaks would only help pay for a 4 percent reduction in income taxes.
The JCT analysis reinforces a key argument against Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's plan to pay for a 20 percent income tax cut by limiting deductions and other tax breaks. Romney's defenders say the JCT report is very rough and does not consider all the available ways to broaden the taxable base.
The estimate assumes that the George W. Bush-era tax cuts expire Dec. 31 for all income levels, meaning that the starting point for the analysis presumes a tax increase that neither party supports. Thus, the top rate achieved under the analysis would be 38.02 percent.