"Mr. President, publish your proposals, and we’ll duke it out."
Allow the Bush Tax Cuts for Households Earning More Than $250,000 to Expire. In the last Administration, those at the very top enjoyed large tax breaks and income gains while almost everyone else struggled and real income for the middle class declined. Our Nation cannot afford to continue these tax cuts, which is why the President supports allowing those tax cuts that affect families earning more than $250,000 a year to expire and committing these resources to reducing the deficit instead. This step will have no effect on the 98 percent of all households who make less than $250,000.
Over 10 years, according to the administration, the budget would save an estimated $1.2 trillion, mainly by ending the Bush tax cuts for the richest Americans and freezing some domestic spending for three years.
The budget proposal released Monday would extend Obama's signature Making Work Pay tax credit -- $400 for individuals, $800 for a couple filing jointly -- through 2011. But it would also impose nearly $1 trillion in higher taxes on couples making more than $250,000 and individuals making more than $200,000 by not renewing tax cuts enacted under former President George W. Bush. Obama would extend Bush-era tax cuts for families and individuals making less.
On Sunday, Palin literally wrote that talking point on her hand in an appearance with Chris Wallace of Fox News:
"My palm isn't large enough to have written all my notes down on what this tax increase, what it will result in.... Democrats are poised to cause the largest tax increase in U.S. history, it's a tax increase of $3.8 trillion in the next ten years and it will have an effect on every single American who pays an income tax."
For one thing, according to the Pew Economic Policy Group, an extension of all of the Bush tax cuts will cost $3.1 trillion over ten years, once the costs of servicing the debt are factored in. But no one has proposed allowing them all expire, and it's incredibly disingenuous of Republicans to claim otherwise, especially since it was a budget gimmick by former President George W. Bush to include the ten-year sunset at all.
Extending just the cuts for the wealthiest two percent of Americans will cost $830 billion over ten years.
Wallace's question was about letting the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire. President Barack Obama's plan would increase income taxes for individuals making more than $200,000 and for couples making more than $250,000, with indexing for inflation. Wallace mentions that the Republican proposal to retain the tax cuts for the wealthy is "$678 billion you're not going to pay for." That's a reasonable estimate of how much increasing taxes on top earners would generate over 10 years.
Palin, however, responded as if the Democrats intend to allow all the Bush tax cuts to expire for everyone. If that were to happen, it would increase tax revenues by approximately $3.8 trillion over ten years.
But that's not what Democrats are proposing; they want to leave tax rates untouched for people who make less.