Daniel Hemel, a law professor at the University of Chicago, raised a crucial question about the long-term effects of the legislation’s adoption of chained CPI, a method of calculating the rate of inflation for the earned-income tax credit and other sections of the tax code that provide breaks to working- and middle-class families.
He noted that
lower and middle-income families, who are especially dependent upon inflation-indexed deductions, credits, and bracket thresholds, will feel the impact increasingly as time goes on.
In the first year, 2018, the changed inflation rate raises a relatively modest $31.5 billion but it grows every year, reaching $37 billion in 2027. “To be sure,” Hemel wrote, “this affects everyone to some degree, but most of the burden is paid for by families in the bottom four quintiles.”
In the long term, Hemel argued,
this is a very subtle way to increase taxes on the lower and middle classes and then use those revenues to pay for a massive tax cut for corporations.
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