86% of Gains from Indexing Capital Gains Goes to Top 1%

Alan Rappeport and Jim Tankersley of The New York Times cite Penn Wharton Budget Model’s forecast of the fiscal and social effects of adjusting capital gain taxes for inflation in their piece, Trump Administration Mulls a Unilateral Tax Cut for the Rich. A resurgence in the movement to decrease the burden of investment income taxation by permitting taxpayers to adjust the initial value of an asset for inflation has sparked vigorous debate; while some argue the tax will lead to faster growth and economic efficiencies, others argue lost revenues will offset any stimulus, with whatever gains being distributed disproportionately. The journalists bolster their analysis with figures from PWBM’s analysis of indexing capital gains to inflation. PWBM finds that, “... indexing capital gains to inflation would reduce government revenues by $102 billion over a decade, with 86 percent of the benefits going to the top 1 percent.”