A number of exclusions, deductions, preferential rates, and credits in the federal tax system cause revenues to be much lower than they would be otherwise for any given structure of tax rates. Some of those provisions—in both the individual and corporate income tax systems—are termed “tax expenditures” because they resemble federal spending by providing financial assistance to specific activities, entities, or groups of people. Tax expenditures, like traditional forms of federal spending, contribute to the federal budget deficit; influence how people work, save, and invest; and affect the distribution of income. This report examines how 10 of the largest tax expenditures in the individual income tax system in 2013 are distributed among households with different amounts of income.
From 1979 to 2007, real (inflation-adjusted) average household income, measured after government transfers and federal taxes, grew by 62 percent. During that period, the evolution of the nation’s economy and the tax and spending policies of the federal government and state and local governments had varying effects on households at different points in the income distribution: Income after transfers and federal taxes (denoted as after-tax income in this study) for households at the higher end of the income scale rose much more rapidly than income for households in the middle and at the lower end of the income scale.
Preliminary Analysis of the Insurance Coverage Specifications Provided by the House Tri-Committee Group
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) have completed a preliminary analysis of the major provisions related to health insurance coverage that are contained in title I of draft legislation called the Affordable Health Choices Act, which was released by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) on June 9, 2009. Among other things, that draft legislation would establish insurance exchanges (called “gateways”) through which individuals and families could purchase coverage and would provide federal subsidies to substantially reduce the cost of that coverage for some enrollees.