Don’t look now, but as the president’s men start to fall and the nation’s perv walks continue, the Republican Congress is set to reconcile a tax cut bill that passed only because they need to put a “W” up on the board. It (eventually) raises taxes on the middle class, detonates the federal debt by more than $1 trillion, supposedly jump starts an economy that even those who support it say is humming along nicely, and is hugely unpopular with the American people. It’s an abomination that in 2018 should be tagged on every member of Congress who votes for it.
It’s amazing what can happen when the majority party says “failure is not an option.” The original pitch for this monstrosity is that it cuts taxes for everyone. We now know, through independent and nonpartisan analysis, that’s a lie.
Then there’s the question of whether the president would “be hurt, believe me” by the plan.
The nonpartisan, congressional referee Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) has determined that only 44 percent of taxpayers would see their taxes reduced by $500 or more by 2019 (Senate plan). Only 62 percent would get a tax cut of at least $100 in 2019. The 38 percent left would pay about the same in taxes or get a tax hike according the JCT. As written in the Washington Post, “Among families with incomes between $50,000 and $75,000, JCT found that 80 percent get a tax cut of $100 or more in 2019, but 10 percent would pay about the same, and the remaining 10 percent would face a tax increase of $100 or more. … Wealthier Americans, earning between $500,000 to $1 million, appear to get the biggest benefits.”
Here’s the 2018 hit on any legislator voting for this tax bill: By 2027, people making $40,000 to $50,000 would pay a combined $5.3 billion more in taxes, while the group earning $1 million or more would get a $5.8 billion cut. It’s nothing short of shameful.
Also, let’s not forget that Trump’s elimination of cost sharing subsidies for Obamacare will cost the low- and middle-class more in premiums. The Senate version of this tax bill also eliminates the individual mandates for insurance, raising premium prices for the folks in these brackets even further.
Both the Senate and House versions of the tax bill absolutely explode the federal debt. Republicans who have spent their careers decrying the burgeoning debt are now ready to vote for a plan that will mean a $1 trillion—a trillion dollar—debt increase even after accounting for positive economic growth.
The JTC analysis pegs economic growth under these tax plans at about .08 percent. That’s a pittance compared to the 3+ percent the administration predicts will sustain—that’s not just unrealistic, it’s straight out of fantasyland.
If the Trump administration has a problem with the JCT numbers, one would think they’d be pushing out its own analyses. Yeah, well, guess again. Among the small fires burning right now if the apparent suppression of information from the Treasury Department. Captain Money (aka Treasury Secretary) Steve Mnuchin has repeatedly promised to release a detailed report on how the tax cuts pay for themselves. No such report is forthcoming.
It’s interesting that Republicans simultaneously claim that the economy is performing better than ever and that the tax cut bill will provide a much-needed jump start to the economy. Which is it? The economy grew 3.3 percent and unemployment was down to 4.1 percent on the third quarter of the year. Stocks and the Dow Jones are at record highs. Why would we explode the national debt when there seems to be no need for a goose to the economy?
But the American people want this tax bill, right? No. Wrong. According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, 49 percent said they opposed the Republican tax bill, 29 percent said they supported it and 22 percent said they don’t know. Not exactly a clarion call.
The bottom line here is that the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress simply want to get on the board. Their legislative achievements number ZERO and they are in danger of completing Trump’s first year in office with a goose egg. That’s not a good reason to hurt the people who can least afford it, reward the donor class and explode the national debt.