Fact Check: Who Gets Hurt, Who Gets Helped If Bush Tax Cuts Expire?

House Democrats Vote to Raise Taxes for Wealthiest Americans

ByABC News
December 2, 2010, 11:50 AM

Dec. 2, 2010 — -- Today, with the clock running down on the Bush tax cuts, Democrats in the House voted to make them permanent, but only for those individuals making less than $200,000 a year.

With Republicans dead set against raising taxes on anyone, the last minute drama is just beginning.

Listening to Democrats and Republicans, you'd think they're talking about two totally different tax cuts.

Democratic senators, like Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) have said that continuing the Bush-era tax cuts for America's richest will give the millionaires a tax break, while Republicans in Congress, like the next Speaker of the House, Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), have said tax hikes will kill jobs.

So who's right? Will letting the top Bush tax cuts expire hit small business or the super-rich? The answer is both.

If the top tax cuts expire, someone making $1 million a year would see their taxes go up by about $43 thousand, and for someone making $10 million, it's a tax hike of more than $450 thousand.

But small business owners, like Drew Greenblatt, would be hit too. When ABC News visited his 30-employee wire basket company in Baltimore earlier this year, he said an increase in the top tax rate would cost him about $40 thousand -- and likely at least one employee.

"This is going to pull cash out of our company so we are going to have less money to invest," Greenblatt said. "We have less money to hire more people."