Despite a pandemic, a recession and a slew of tax cuts, federal tax receipts are booming.
Revenues jumped 18 percent in the fiscal year that just ended, analysts say — the biggest one-year increase since 1977.
That translates into $627 billion more than in 2020, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which estimates that, for the first time, total government revenues topped $4 trillion.
“They are just booming,” said Mark Booth, a former top revenue forecaster at the agency. “It is very unusual.”
Though Democrats are hammering the rich for not paying their fair share in taxes, the increase is being driven by levies primarily paid by the well-to-do. For example, corporate tax receipts leapt 75 percent, CBO says. At $370 billion, they easily top where they were immediately before Republicans slashed the corporate rate as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
The surge has gotten relatively little notice, obscured perhaps by the government’s towering budget deficits and congressional battles over taxes and spending.
It is highly unusual, though, for the government to see a big wave of revenue in the wake of an economic downturn. Typically, receipts crash following recessions because, as people’s incomes fall, they owe less to the Treasury.
The coronavirus downturn was much more bifurcated, however, with higher-income people, who pay most federal taxes, doing far better than low earners. [Continue reading…]