So Congressman, how do you get to 19 percent?

From Mark Thoma’s blog, I pick up the following quote from Paul Ryan:

RYAN: What happens if you do what he’s saying, is then you can’t lower tax rates. So it does affect marginal tax rates. In order to lower marginal tax rates, you have to take away those loopholes so you can lower those tax rates. If you want to do what we call being revenue neutral … If you take a deal like that, you’re necessarily requiring tax rates to be higher for everybody. You need lower tax rates by going after tax loopholes. If you take away the tax loopholes without lowering tax rates, then you deny Congress the ability to lower everybody’s tax rates and you keep people’s tax rates high.

The Congression Budget Office did an analysis of the Ryan Budget plan, which anticipates revenues rising to 18.5 percent of GDP by 2022 and to 19 percent by 2030.  Revenue is currently at 15 percent (Table 1 on page 3).   The CBO followed the following instruction:

The path for revenues as a percentage of GDP was specified by Chairman Ryan’s staff.
The path rises steadily from about 15 percent of GDP in 2010 to 19 percent in 2028
and remains at that level thereafter. There were no specifications of particular revenue
provisions that would generate that path. (see page 11).

If Ryan will only accept closing loopholes in order to cut marginal tax rates, particularly for the wealthiest Americans, I am hard pressed to see how we get from 15 to 19–would you care to specify Congressman Ryan?

I was on a panel last month with Ryan, and was impressed with how intelligent he is, particularly in contrast to Wisconsin’s governor.  The fact that he is so intelligent tells me that he knows what a cynical game he is playing.

About Richard K. Green 102 Articles

Affiliation: University of Southern California

Richard K. Green, Ph.D., is the Director of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate. He holds the Lusk Chair in Real Estate and is Professor in the School of Policy, Planning, and Development and the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.

Prior to joining the USC faculty, Dr. Green spent four years as the Oliver T. Carr, Jr., Chair of Real Estate Finance at The George Washington University School of Business. He was Director of the Center for Washington Area Studies and the Center for Real Estate and Urban Studies at that institution. Dr. Green also taught real estate finance and economics courses for 12 years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was Wangard Faculty Scholar and Chair of Real Estate and Urban Land Economics. He also has been principal economist and director of financial strategy and policy analysis at Freddie Mac.

His research addresses housing markets, housing policy, tax policy, transportation, mortgage finance and urban growth. He is a member of two academic journal editorial boards, and a reviewer for several others.

His work is published in a number of journals including the American Economic Review, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Journal of Urban Economics, Land Economics, Regional Science and Urban Economics, Real Estate Economics, Housing Policy Debate, Journal of Housing Economics, and Urban Studies.

His book with Stephen Malpezzi, A Primer on U.S. Housing Markets and Housing Policy, is used at universities throughout the country. His work has been cited or he has been quoted in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek and the Economist, as well as other outlets.

Dr. Green earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He earned his A.B. in economics from Harvard University.

Visit: Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

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