Trump sold his tax cuts as a tax cut for working families. But now, reality has struck and not only will millions not get a refund this year, but some might have to pay the IRS.
The Republican tax cut, which involved the biggest changes to the tax code in 30 years and might have put more money in people’s paycheck due to withholding table changes, has come home to roost and it’s not pretty.
DCReport.com founder David Cay Johnston explained the tax changes to MSNBC‘s Stephanie Ruhle, “Republicans ran a sort of stimulus program buy reducing your withholding under new tables without the experience of knowing what would happen. About 25% of taxpayers who had been itemizing deductions will not be able to do so under the new law and those people are going to get a real shock because of the limitation of how much they can deduct for state and local taxes… and you’re going to pay more.”
Johnston also broke down how, for example, Trump‘s tax laws take away from police officers the ability to deduct cleaning their uniforms, their guns, etc as well as taking away property taxes and medical deductions and home equity loan against your house. He also said all of this was done instantaneously. He said many people will have to borrow money to pay the IRS.
Johnston pointed out that Republicans didn’t phase this huge tax overhaul in slowly because they couldn’t make the budget work for tax cuts for the richest among us without hitting the middle class.
“Why did they do this so abruptly, why didn’t they phase in the way Ronald Reagan did? Because they couldn’t make the budget numbers work for the tax cut for the richest among us unless they hit the middle class first fully,” Johnston said.
— Mark Blei (@markblei) February 4, 2019
Thank you, Republicans. If we’re all paying off 2018 taxes in multi-year payment plans, how can we get ahead in 2019?? Just keep extending those plans.
I’ve never paid higher taxes in my life than in 2018. I’ve been paying taxes for 23 years. This is grotesque #GOPTaxScam
— Red™️ (@Redpainter1) February 10, 2019
Oh, hey, about those bigger paychecks? Well, unless you knew to adjust your paycheck withholdings after the change took place, you get not only get a smaller return, but you might end up owing the IRS money.
CNN rounded up the IRS numbers, “Tax season is off to a slower start this year, with early filers seeing smaller average refunds. The average refund is down about 8% under the first full year of the overhauled tax code, according to data released by the IRS on Friday. Refunds averaged $1,865 compared to $2,035 for tax year 2017.”
Now, if you’re someone who thinks Americans can just go to the bank and get some money any time they need it and that the grocery story gives IOUs for food to those who need it, you might not understand that a few hundred dollars is actually a very big deal for working families. But it is.
Trump made noises about a tax cut for the middle class after he and the Republicans made sure to ram through through this huge tax cut for corporate America, but Republican legislators had not heard of this plan and oh, big surprise! It was mentioned in the days leading up to the midterms, and then nothing happened with it.
Trump might think he’s Teflon with his voters, that he could shoot someone in the street and they would still vote for him, as he bragged. But he never considered what would happen if he metaphorically shot them. (See, the President can mention shooting someone in the street and it’s no biggie, but if I wrote that and left out the metaphorical, I can assure you it would be an issue.)
The Trump/GOP tax cut for the rich is why so many Republicans here in Trump country are getting disillusioned. Tax cuts for the rich sold as caring about working families didn’t fly no matter how hard Trump sold them, and many working class families understood that the tax cut was going to get them and help the rich, even if they didn’t understand how.
Republicans have been playing this trickle down con for so long that it’s lost its shiny surface and glittery promise.
Time to pay the Trump tax.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.