The leading congressional Democrat on tax matters, in an alternative to President Reagan's tax program, yesterday proposed that Congress repeal future cuts in income and estate taxes that it passed two years ago.
Rep. Dan Rostenkowski (D-Ill.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, urged first that Congress rescind an indexation provision under which income taxes would be adjusted automatically each year beginning in 1985 to keep inflation from moving people into higher tax brackets.
He also proposed repeal, among other provisions, of one under which the first $600,000 of an estate would become exempt from federal tax by 1985; he would keep the estate tax cutoff at $275,000.
But he would leave alone this July's scheduled 10 percent cut in income taxes.
The Rostenkowski plan, which would raise $129.3 billion from 1985 through 1988, would be an alternative to the contingent tax increases that President Reagan proposed for roughly the same period.
The Reagan tax increases--a 5 percent income surtax and $5 a barrel excise tax on oil, which would be levied only if the deficit failed to fall below stipulated levels--would raise $138.1 billion.
Rostenkowski's proposal, made in a speech here, was one of several calls yesterday for important revisions in the Reagan budget. In others:
* Chairman Joseph P. Addabbo (D-N.Y.) of the House Appropriations subcommittee on defense said he will try to cut Reagan's defense budget by $30 billion.
* Congressional Democrats continued to seek a jobs compromise with the president, and AFL-CIO President Lane Kirkland called for a $68 billion jobs program. Details, Page A6.
In addition to indexation and the estate tax cut, Rostenkowski would repeal 12 other tax-reducing provisions that are scheduled to start in 1984 through 1986. Most were part of the 1981 tax-cut bill.
He would keep the federal cigarette tax at 16 cents a pack and the telephone excise tax at 3 percent. The cigarette tax currently is scheduled to be halved on Sept. 30, 1985, and the telephone tax is scheduled to end starting in 1986.
Rostenkowski also would shelve Reagan proposals for new tax cuts, including tuition tax credits for parents whose children attend private schools.
Picking up this year's favorite budgetary catch-phrase, Rostenkowski described his proposal as a "freeze on scheduled tax reductions."
But it would not affect the income tax cut scheduled for July 1. Some Democrats have urged that this be rescinded or reduced as well, but Reagan has said he will veto any bill that does so.
He also has said repeatedly that he will fight for indexation. But other administration sources noted that that at one point during development of the budget, Reagan aides also gave thought to postponement or repeal of indexing.
And some language in the budget documents appears to be partially supportive of Rostenkowski's plan. The documents note that the administation's 1981 tax bill "included a wide variety of unrequested additional measures including indexing, major reductions in estate taxes . . . and liberalization of certain oil tax provisions." These additions cut federal revenues "by substantially more than was originally proposed."
Rostenkowski's proposal also opened to good reviews in Congress, where there has been little support for Reagan's contingent tax increases as a way to reduce future deficits.
An aide to Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-N.M.), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said "we are awfully pleased. It really is an attempt at compromise." Domenici and Senate Majority Leader Howard H. Baker Jr. (R-Tenn.) both have been highly critical of the indexing provision.
Sen. Robert J. Dole (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said he "could agree with many of the specific revenue-raising proposals" and called the plan mostly "sound and sensible," although he added, "I strongly disagree that indexing should be repealed."
The indexing provision is by far the most costly of those that Rostenkowski would repeal. From 1985 through 1988, the total revenue loss currently is estimated at $90.2 billion.
Under the 1981 bill, individual income tax brackets, the personal exemption and the so-called zero-bracket amount, or tax threshold, would be increased every year starting in 1985 to keep pace with the percentage increase in the consumer price index.
The Rostenskowski plan also includes:
* Repeal of a provision to liberalize charitable deductions for persons who do not itemize. The existing maximum deduction of $25 would be retained to 1986, when non-itemizers no longer could take any deduction.
* Repeal of a provision allowing persons starting in 1985 to exclude 15 percent of their interest income up to a ceiling of $450 for single taxpayers and $900 for joint taxpayers.
* The exemption from the windfall profits tax would remain at two barrels a day for royalty holders, instead of rising to three, and the rate on newly discovered oil would remain at 25 percent, instead of falling progressively to 15 percent by 1986.