Mar 9, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Study: Poorest Americans would get 20% income boost from Biden relief package

Joe Biden.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package will give the poorest 20% of Americans a 20% boost in income, according to an analysis by the non-partisan Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.

Why it matters: Biden and Democrats have touted the "American Rescue Plan" as one of the most impactful anti-poverty bills of this era. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) dubbed it "the most significant piece of legislation to benefit working people in the modern history of this country."

Details: The legislation would lower federal taxes in 2021 by an average of $3,000, while raising net incomes by some 3.8%, per the analysis.

  • Families with children would see their taxes cut by an average of more than $6,000.
  • On a national scale, the relief package would cut taxes by some $467 billion in 2021, and about $590 billion over 10 years.

The big picture: "Simply in terms of whose taxes are cut, the bill is in stark contrast to the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" writes Urban Tax Policy Center fellow Howard Gleckman.

  • People making $91,000 or less would get nearly 70% of the tax benefits from the package, Gleckman writes. The Republicans' 2017 bill signed by former President Trump saw nearly half of its tax cuts go toward people in the top 5% of income earners.

What to watch: The House plans to vote on the Senate's version of the bill on Wednesday, sending it to Biden's desk for a signature before key unemployment benefits expire on March 14.

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