By Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX)
April 15, 2019
On Tax Day this Monday, let’s look back at the predictions that were made when President Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act around Christmas 2017.
Then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi infamously predicted “Armageddon” for America. Former Clinton Treasury Secretary Larry Summers described pro-growth forecasts as “tooth fairies” and predicted a long recession. He was joined by increasingly incogitable New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who guaranteed a “global recession, with no end in sight.”
They were dead wrong.
But the false claims haven’t abated. The Washington Post gave now-Speaker Pelosi a withering “two pinocchios” for falsely claiming that 86 million middle-class families will see a tax increase. Senator Chuck Schumer earned a “mostly false” rating for claiming companies were laying off workers due to tax reform. And the paper slammed Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris as “misleading” and “nonsensical” for her claim of a middle-class tax hike because average tax refunds were slightly down as tax filing season began.
Unfortunately, the liberals’ deception campaign may be working.
Recently, liberal VOX writer Matthew Yglesias, after admitting that facts show ”a clear majority got a tax cut,” praised other liberals who “did a really good job of convincing people that Trump raised their taxes.” Polls show many Americans are unsure of the impact of the tax cuts had on them.
But facts matter. There’s a reason that 91 percent of middle-class taxpayers are getting a tax cut, according to the left-leaning Tax Policy Center.
Tax rates are lower at every income level, proportionally the most at low-to-middle income levels. The popular Child Tax Credit was doubled to $2,000, made available to more workers who don’t have a tax liability, and expanded so 8 million more middle class families are newly eligible.
Doubling the standard deduction not only keeps more earnings from being taxed, but makes tax filing simpler. Nine out of 10 taxpayers in America no longer have to itemize to get their full tax cut.
Nearly 4.5 million families won’t be hit with the Alternative Minimum Tax, which previously forced taxpayers to do their taxes twice and knocked out key deductions. In high-tax states, eliminating the AMT translates into thousands of dollars in tax savings.
We care about single moms, so under the new tax code a single mom with two kids doesn’t pay a dime in federal income taxes on the first $53,000 of her earnings.
We care about working families. According to recent data from H&R Block, tax burdens are down nearly 25 percent from last year, and refunds are up 1.4 percent. That’s why a two-teacher household in my district enjoys a tax cut of $2,630.
We care about small businesses. The historic 20-percent deduction for small businesses, along with new incentives to buy new technology and equipment, have Main Street businesses hiring more, growing more, and profiting more with near-record highs of confidence.
But perhaps most importantly, paychecks – which have been stagnant for far too long in America – are growing at their fastest rate in a decade, and even faster among those with low incomes who need it most.
Blue-collar jobs are surging, as 467,000 new manufacturing jobs have been created – a dramatic turnaround from the last Obama years when manufacturing jobs decreased.
Income inequality grew worse under Bill Clinton than Ronald Reagan, and worse under Barack Obama than George W. Bush. But due to rising wages for Americans with lower incomes, under President Trump income inequality is declining[MOU4] and may shrink by 2020 for the first time in half a century, according to former Federal Reserve Governor Lawrence B. Lindsey.
Clearly, the U.S. economy is growing – 50 percent faster than Obama economists predicted. Local businesses are investing four times faster than the last year of the Obama administration. Poverty among Latinos and African Americans are the best on record, with unemployment the lowest in decades for Americans too often left behind by the old “tax’em high” crowd.
Is there more work to be done? Absolutely.
The tax cuts for families and small businesses should be made permanent, as the Republican House approved last year. We should closely monitor the impact of specific tax provisions on families, workers and local businesses, and fine-tune them if necessary.
While the tax cuts were designed to show up in paychecks last year for families who live paycheck-to-paycheck and need it most, other taxpayers still prefer high tax refunds. Every taxpayer has the freedom to adjust their exemptions to fit their financial preferences.
Tax Day is always a headache. But as long as families and small businesses continue to have first say over their money rather than Washington, the U.S. economy will continue to soar for workers across the country.