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Wealthiest 20% Get Lion's Share of Tax Breaks

Democrats and Republicans both hail new CBO report
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2013 11:09 AM CDT
Wealthiest 20% Get Lion's Share of Tax Breaks
Rich people get the most out of tax breaks.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The top 20% of households in terms of income get a bit more than half of the 10 most significant tax breaks in the code, according to a new Congressional Budget Office analysis, with an outsized 17% of all savings going to the richest 1%. The report is being both hailed and spun by Democrats and Republicans, the Washington Post reports; both want to eliminate some deductions, with Democrats urging that the wealthy pay more, while Republicans wanting to instead lower rates across the board.

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The 10 biggest tax breaks include things like the low capital gains tax rate, deductions for mortgage interest and charitable contributions, and the tax-free treatment of employer-provided health insurance and retirement contributions, all of which are used primarily by the wealthy and upper-middle class. Only a few, like the tax-free treatment of Social Security benefits and the child tax credit, go to lower-income households. (Read more tax code stories.)

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