Lie About Tax Cut
The Big Republican Lie About Their ‘Middle-Class’ Tax Cut
As the most important tax bill in years lurches toward passage in Congress, the Republicans who almost unanimously support it are rediscovering their populism. Donald Trump is promising a “giant tax cut for Christmas.” Texas Republican Senator John Conryn said on Sunday that they were “giving everybody in every tax bracket a tax cut.” In the right-leaning Washington Examiner, the policy director of the anti-tax group Americans for Tax Reform wrote, “While the bill is not perfect, it is indisputable that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reduces taxes at every income level with the biggest benefits being borne by the middle class.” And House Speaker Paul Ryan published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal Wednesday asserting that the tax bill “provides real relief to middle-income families and realizes policy goals conservatives have sought for decades.”
The tax bill is a complicated piece of legislation that will have far-ranging effects no one can predict with absolute certainty (already accountants and others are scrambling to figure out its provisions). According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, which has generally been against the bill, an average household making $50,000 to $75,000 will get a tax cut of $870, while wealthier people will benefit much more. Depending on where they live, some wealthy people will suffer under the new tax regime, while the ultra-rich will be able to take advantage of new incentives. These cuts, despite Republican assertions to the contrary, will almost definitely cost the government hundreds of billions, though economists disagree about exact amounts.
But let’s set aside granular specifics for a moment, and ask a basic question: Why won’t Republicans simply say that what they really want to do is cut taxes on the rich?