Why don’t you feel as though the Trump tax cuts helped you?
• Because unless you have very high income, the federal income tax rate cuts you receive are so tiny, they are hardly noticeable. Folks in the top 1 percent income bracket will save $51,000. Household tax cuts expire after 2025.
• Because you need to own stocks, bonds, real estate investments and corporations to benefit. The biggest winners in Trump’s tax cuts are corporations—their rate dropped almost 40 percent, from 35 percent to 21 percent—and those getting dividend income from corporate profits. The corporate tax cut is permanent.
• Because you know the tax cuts, which mostly benefit the wealthy, are adding to the federal deficit. At the time of its passage in December 2017, Trump and the Republicans claimed the tax cut law would pay for itself. According to recent Congressional Budget Office estimates, the law will add $1.9 trillion in debt from 2018 to 2029.
• Because corporations didn’t pass a fair share of their tax savings on to their employees in the form of bonuses and higher wages, or by using their windfall to make capital investments in their businesses, as Trump and his supporters touted would happen, but instead used it for stock buybacks, which boosted stock prices, again primarily benefiting the rich. The wealthiest 10 percent of Americans own 84 percent of all stocks. In recent months, the stock market hit all-time highs. Meanwhile, the federal minimum wage remains at $7.25 per hour, where it has been since 2009.
These are just some of the reasons most of us are not feeling good about the Trump tax cuts.
Congressional Republican lawmakers writing and voting for this law held investments that directly profited from the tax cuts. Democrats stood to gain from the tax bill too, but not one voted for it. All but 12 Republicans voted for this bill.
Ask your Congress members and candidates if they support passing anticorruption laws that prevent this blatant self-enrichment. Ask them if they support repealing the Trump tax cuts and replacing them with cuts that are permanent and fair to lower- and middle-class folks. Ask them if they support legislation that requires federal and state elected officials and candidates to disclose tax returns—including supporting schedules and IRS audit information, and financial records from bankruptcy, divorce and criminal and civil litigation—for public scrutiny. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.