The tax-geek debate just got a tiny bit more interesting. Following reports that Republican lawmakers are considering leaving the top tax rate at 39.6 percent for people who earn $1 million or more a year, Scott Greenberg, an analyst at the conservative Tax Foundation, and Michael Linden, a fellow at the liberal Roosevelt Institute, agreed on Twitter to a little wager: Greenberg will put up $5 to Linden’s $50 that the initial House tax bill “increases static after-tax income for the middle 20 percent more than the top 1 percent.”
The wager followed a Twitter thread by Greenberg — it’s worth a look — explaining why it may still be too soon to say for sure that the rich will get a tax cut under the plan, though that’s still the likely outcome. OK, so the stakes aren't particularly high — and yet they are. While we’d never want to encourage betting or be flippant about a policy change that could affect so many people, we’re pointing out the wager for a couple of reasons. First, it’s a reminder that the details of the tax plan matter greatly and can still change. Second, maybe, just maybe, it says something that two experts effectively laid 10-to-1 odds that the top 1 percent will benefit from the tax overhaul more than the middle class.