Late last week, Senate Finance Chair Orrin Hatch unexpectedly lost his cool during a committee hearing after his Democratic colleague, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, suggested Republicans were crafting a tax plan that would primarily benefit wealthy Americans. What made the exchange remarkable was that Hatch actually seemed sincere. “I come from the poor people, and I have been here working my whole stinkin’ career for people who don’t have a chance, and I really resent anybody that says I’m doing it for the rich,” Hatch said, practically quivering in anger. It was as if nobody had told the man what his own legislation would actually do: shower six-figure tax cuts on multi-millionaires.
Today, the Tax Policy Center released its analysis of who would benefit the most under the Senate’s bill, which has passed out of committee but has yet to receive a floor vote. Much like the score published by Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation, it shows the spoils disproportionately go to the rich; the top 1 percent of Americans get just over one-fifth of the cuts; the top 5 percent get just under half of the them.
But rather than just spew numbers and percentages at you, I thought it would be fun to put them into a little context, by paring the tax cut that Americans at each rung of the income ladder can expect with what it might actually pay for. (“Fun.”) There are, of course, winners and losers under the Senate plan, so I’ve chosen to focus on the average cuts among the three quarters of Americans whose taxes would actually fall in 2025, when all of its provisions are in effect.
Top 0.1 percent: Average tax cut, $360,430, enough to pay the average salary of an American anesthesiologist. Your tax cut is literally worth all the things that slogging through seven years of medical school might afford you. All of the things.