April 12,2012

Press Contact:

Julia Lawless, Antonia Ferrier, 202.224.4515

Hatch Comment on JCT Analysis that Shows President’s Buffett Tax Plan in 2013 Budget Would Increase Debt by Close to $800 Billion


                  Reporters & Editors
FROM:             Antonia Ferrier, Julia Lawless for Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)
DATE:              April 12, 2012
RE:                   JCT: President’s Buffett Tax Plan in 2013 Budget Would Increase Debt by Close to $800 Billion

Congress repeatedly has to fix the Alternative Minimum Tax in order to ensure that tens of millions of Americans are not subject to a massive tax hike.  If Congress does not act this year, 30 million American households would be hit with a significant tax increase. 

In his Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 Budget, President Obama proposed that “…the Buffett Rule should re¬place the Alternative Minimum Tax, which now burdens middle-class Americans rather than stopping the richest Americans from paying too little as was originally intended.” (President’s FY 2013 Budget, Office of Management and Budget)

Next week, the Senate will consider Democrats’ Buffett Tax bill (the Paying a Fair Share Act of 2012), legislation with the stated purpose of “…reduc[ing] the deficit by imposing a minimum effective tax rate for high-income taxpayers.” Moreover, Section 3 of the bill states that “[i]t is the sense of the Senate that—(1) Congress should enact tax reform that…simplifies the system for millions of taxpayers and businesses (including by eliminating the alternative minimum tax for middle-class Americans)….”

But an analysis by the Joint Committee on Taxation finds that if Senate Democrats’ Buffett Tax was used to replace the AMT as President Obama proposes in his most recent budget, it would add $793.3 billion to the debt over the next ten years alone. 

Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch issued the following statement in response to JCT’s analysis:  “What a surprise that the President’s so-called debt reduction proposal in his budget – coupling the Buffett Tax with a repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax - would actually increase our debt by almost $800 billion.  This analysis shows that when it comes to confronting the debt, the President’s the emperor wearing no clothes.  American families are being threatened with the largest tax hike in history if we don’t act by the end of the year.  It’s time for the White House and its Democrat allies to stop playing political games and put forward real solutions to address this looming tax crisis.”