House Republicans called the report premature and unfair. For example, it assumes that Republicans would maintain lower rates for capital gains and dividends — which disproportionately benefit the very wealthy — a long-standing part of GOP tax orthodoxy. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has said he would preserve the lower rates for the wealthy and eliminate taxes on investment income for the middle class.
However, the budget blueprint the House passed this spring sets no such conditions on tax reform, and Ryan spokesman Conor Sweeney said Republicans “are open to changes to those rates.”
GOP aides noted that the report assumes that major tax breaks such as the mortgage interest deduction would be eliminated. But some Republicans have argued that similar savings could be achieved by trimming the breaks, perhaps by limiting them for wealthy households, as Ryan suggested in a recent interview with Al Hunt of Bloomberg News.
“There is a saying about why you shouldn’t assume things, but I will just politely suggest that the actual tax writers would probably write a different bill than the staff at JEC,” said Sage Eastman, a senior adviser to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (Mich.), who is leading the Republican tax-reform effort.