Details keep coming in about “Plan B,” House Speaker John Boehner’s proposal to extend the Bush tax cuts for income under $1 million permanently. A lot gets extended. The current very low estate tax rates are made permanent, and the phase-out of the personal exemption for high earners, and the “Pease” limit on high earners’ itemized deductions, are completely eliminated.
But some features don’t get extended. While the bill makes permanent the expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) signed into law by George W. Bush as part of the 2001 tax cut deal — which bumped the credit from $500 to $1,000 — it does not extend an expansion that was passed as part of the 2009 stimulus package, and has been renewed since then, allowing poor families to refund more of the credit. Nor does it extend the stimulus’s expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), by far the most important anti-poverty program the federal government has, or the American Opportunity Credit (AOC), which provides tuition assistance for middle-class families.