IRS data show Trump tax cuts favored middle and lower income Americans the most -- unlike Biden's plan

One of the lies that Democrats used to try to defeat President Trump’s reelection was the claim that his tax cuts favored the wealthy. But IRS data utterly refutes that claim.

Most Americans will never learn the truth, but the data are there for analysis.

The Hill newspaper, geared toward political professionals, chose Saturday, the lowest readership day of the week, to publish an opinion piece by an outside contributor demonstrating the income gap-leveling nature of Trump and The GOP’s tax policy.

Justin Haskins writes:

A careful analysis of the IRS tax data, one that includes the effects of tax credits and other reforms to the tax code, shows that filers with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $15,000 to $50,000 enjoyed an average tax cut of 16 percent to 26 percent in 2018, the first year Republicans’ Tax Cuts and Jobs Act went into effect and the most recent year for which data is available.

Filers who earned $50,000 to $100,000 received a tax break of about 15 percent to 17 percent, and those earning $100,000 to $500,000 in adjusted gross income saw their personal income taxes cut by around 11 percent to 13 percent.

By comparison, no income group with an AGI of at least $500,000 received an average tax cut exceeding 9 percent, and the average tax cut for brackets starting at $1 million was less than 6 percent. (For more detailed data, see my table published here.)

That means most middle-income and working-class earners enjoyed a tax cut that was at least double the size of tax cuts received by households earning $1 million or more.

What’s more, IRS data shows earners in higher income brackets contributed a bigger slice of the total income tax revenue pie following the passage of the tax reform law than they had in the previous year.

In fact, every income bracket with filers earning $200,000 or more increased its tax burden in 2018 compared to 2017, and every income bracket with a top limit lower than $200,000 paid a smaller proportion of the total personal tax revenue collected.

That’s very impressive, especially considering how phony are the claims of Democrats about the Build Back Bankrupt bill they are attempting to pass, with only Senators Manchin and Sinema standing in their way. The BBB contains a huge giveaway to upper income taxpayers in high tax blue states by restoring the full deductibility of state and local taxes (SALT) from the adjusted gross income of federal tax filers. This means that federal taxpayers in lower tax red states are subsidizing the tax and spend policies of California, New York and other high tax/high spend states. It is a perverse incentive for those states to spend more and more money --  the very policies that are driving people to flee to more sensible jurisdictions like Florida and Texas.

Moreover, Biden’s handlers and Congressional Democrats are playing games with Congressional Budget Office calculations of the fiscal impact of the bill. Richard Baehr emails:

The proposed SALT changes in BBB are an example of DC sleight of hand.  The Trump tax cuts expire at the end of 2025.   The BBB proposal  restores an $80,000 limit for SALT in any year for 9 years.

What that does is it gives a tax break to wealthy people in a few states through 2025, and keeps it going after that.  But because of the Trump bill expiring in 2025, the presumption for CBO scoring is that SALT is unlimited after 2025.  As a result, the Dems BBB proposal records a tax savings after 2025 (the difference between unlimited SALT deduction and 80,000 limit) that matches the cost for 2022 to 2025.   So that enables Biden to claim that “it costs nothing.”

Photo credit: Adam Schultz CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license

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