Thursday, July 16, 2009

I stand corrected

A couple days ago I noted that under the House healthcare reform bill, marginal tax rates on top earners would go up substantially. Indeed, they would reach levels not seen in many years. That bill would institute a tax surcharge of 5.4 percent on top of normal income taxes, which under current law are already scheduled to revert back to Clinton-era levels.

This is no cause for alarm. A reader points out that the President would surely veto such a bill. After all, during the campaign, he promised us the following through two of his top economic advisers:

Sen. Obama believes that responsible candidates must put forward specific ideas of how they would pay for their proposals. That is why he would repeal a portion of the tax cuts passed in the last eight years for families making over $250,000. But to be clear: He would leave their tax rates at or below where they were in the 1990s. The top two income-tax brackets would return to their 1990s levels of 36% and 39.6% (including the exemption and deduction phase-outs). All other brackets would remain as they are today.
Those are the words of Jason Furman (who is now at the NEC) and Austan Goolsbee (who is now at the CEA).

For further reassurance, see fact 3 at this Obama campaign factsheet.