When the GOP tax cut bill was first proposed, Democrats attacked it the way they attack virtually all Republican proposals: by claiming that letting Americans keep a little more of their own money instead of it giving it to Washington would make millions of people “DIE!” That proved about as easy to sell as Nancy Pelosi’s condescending claim that a $1000 bonus and an dollar-an-hour raise (thanks to the tax cut) was “pathetic” and “crumbs.” So they fell back on another one of the handful of well-worn tunes in their repertoire: that it’s “not fair,” it’s “tax cuts for the rich” with a disproportionate share of the benefits going to the highest earners, and a “scam” under which the middle class would pay more.
At the time, the tax tables had yet to be written, but now, the new system is in place. So how does that latest scare tactic stand up to the facts? Not so well. A tax specialist from the Tax Policy Center (which is a joint venture of the left-leaning Urban Institute and Brookings Institution, so not a rightwing partisan outfit) crunched the numbers, and simultaneously crunched the left’s arguments into dust.
He found that the top 20% of earners ($150,000 a year and up), who make 52% of total US income, will pay 87% of all taxes, up from 84% last year. The bottom 60% of earners ($86,000 a year or less) make 27% of all US income. Last year, they paid only 2% of all net income taxes. Under the new rates, they will pay no net income tax. As for the richest of the rich (or as I like to call them, “the Pelosi class”), even though they got the biggest benefit from the tax cut, their share of taxes will rise, both in dollars and percentage of taxes paid.
Of course, Democrats also predicted that corporations would just hoard their tax cuts and not share them with workers or hire and expand (wrong), and that it wouldn’t boost economic growth (wrong.) That leaves only the complaint that the benefits expire after a certain number of years. But that’s only if Congress doesn’t vote to renew them. Doesn’t it seem odd that the people who most want to repeal the tax cuts are criticizing the tax cuts for not being permanent? What a campaign slogan: “Your tax cut might go away in a few years, so elect us and we’ll make it go away now!”
When you hear the media confidently predict a giant “blue wave” will sweep Democrats back into power in Congress in November, ask yourself what they are offering, besides the fact that they hate Donald Trump worse than a castor oil milkshake. So far, I can think of four things I’ve heard “progressives” openly endorse: repealing your tax cut, taking your guns, disbanding ICE and opening the borders, and regulating what you’re allowed to say, write and believe. I don’t understand why the prospect of any of that would make anyone rush out and vote, other than Republicans.
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