Monday, April 22, 2019

How Democrats misled the nation about Trump’s tax cuts

How Democrats misled the nation about Trump’s tax cuts


Say this for Democrats: They can be very effective — at least, when it comes to misleading Americans on taxes. That’s clear from the wide gap between the number of people who got tax cuts last year and the far smaller number who think they did.
As even The New York Times (yes, the anti-Trump Times) noted, Tax Policy Center figures show 65 percent of taxpayers got tax cuts last year, thanks to the 2017 Trump tax reforms; just 6 percent had to pay more.
Yet in early April, SurveyMonkey found only 40 percent of Americans believed they saw savings, and only 20 percent felt sure they had. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll last month found even fewer, just 17 percent, thought their families would pay less.
Why are so many people under the wrong impression about their own taxes? As the Times put it, the gap “appears to flow from a sustained — and misleading — effort by liberal opponents of the law to brand [Trump’s tax reform] as a broad middle-class tax increase.” Give the paper credit for honesty.
Fact is, “Democrats did a very good job” at convincing people they wouldn’t benefit, the Tax Policy Center’s Howard Gleckman observed. “The reality has been unable to break that perception.”
Here in New York, as E.J. McMahon noted on these pages recently, Gov. Andrew Cuomo never stopped railing about the Trump tax cuts. He called them “an all-out direct attack on New York’s future,” suggesting they would effectively raise levies on middle-class families by as much as 25 percent.
Turns out “the vast majority” of New Yorkers actually “paid lower taxes in 2018 then they would have under the previous federal law,” wrote McMahon. Even Cuomo himself paid less: just $39,138 on his $211,289 income (18.5 percent), versus $41,765 on his slightly higher $212,776 income (19.6 percent) in 2017.
Add in the fact that the economy is strong — the job market’s hotter than it has been in years — and it’s hard to understate the benefits of the reforms passed by Republicans and signed by Trump.
Republicans just need to figure out how to overcome the deceitful messaging by the other side.

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