Thursday, January 25, 2018

What tax cut? GOP Worries Voters Won't Notice It

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Some 60% of Americans continue to view the Trump tax law negatively, correctly believing that the big winners are the wealthy and large corporation, the latter of which have shown little inclination to increase employee wages even though sitting on record amounts of cash and strong profits.  CEO bonuses and raised shareholder dividends find a much warmer place in cold corporate hearts.  Thus, the Republican Party which has largely bet the store - and the 2018 midterms - on this largely reverse Robin Hood tax plan are now fretting that average Americans will not notice what small and meager tax cuts they will receive - cuts that will fade away over time.  Will another $60.00 per month - barely enough to cover the costs of a few pizzas and beverages for a family - really win allegiance from voters?  Many believe that it will not be enough for most to even notice. A piece in Politico looks at GOP concerns that the existing dislike of the Trump/GOP give away will go by unnoticed.  Here are article excerpts:
The average person earning between $50,000 and $75,000 will see a roughly $30 increase in their checks, assuming they're paid biweekly.
Some may not notice the increase, especially when all sorts of other things can affect people's take-home pay, from pay increases to hikes in premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance.
Democrats, meanwhile, have made Republicans' sales job harder by highlighting those who will face tax increases under the GOP plan. A string of recent polls show one-third of voters believe they will pay more under the plan, though in reality, just 5 percent are expected to see tax hikes this year. About 15 percent of taxpayers will see essentially no change in their tax bills, according to the Tax Policy Center.
“For some people, this is going to be less visible than Republicans think,” said Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow with the group. “It’s going to be really challenging to get people to notice that they got a tax cut.”
Many Republicans scoff at the idea that people may not realize their taxes have declined, saying they keep a close eye on their earnings, but it's happened before.
Former President Barack Obama had a similar tax cut in 2009 and 2010, offering up to $800 to couples that went largely unnoticed.
As with the new Republican plan, Obama's "Making Work Pay" cut was parceled out incrementally by changing how much was withheld from millions of workers' paychecks.
Many economists believed people were more likely to spend the money if it was distributed that way, rather than with a big, lump-sum payment, and the Obama administration was trying to stimulate the economy amid the Great Recession. But a 2010 New York Times/CBS poll found that fewer than 10 percent of voters had even realized their taxes had been cut.
Taxpayers should begin seeing changes in their checks as soon as next month, after the Trump administration released last week the withholding tables payroll administrators use to compute how much to take from each worker's paycheck.
The coming increases are key to Republicans’ efforts to sell their tax plan because for many people, it will be the first time the law affects them personally.
Though the centerpiece of the plan was a big cut in the corporate tax rate, it also reduced individual rates, expanded the standard deduction and doubled a popular credit for having children. But the law also scaled back a long-standing deduction for state and local taxes, pared the mortgage interest deduction and junked personal exemptions.
Those earning between $30,000 and $40,000 will see their taxes fall by $360, which, divided into 26 pay periods, equals about $14 per check. Those earning between $100,000 and $200,00 will get $2,260, or around $87 per pay period. The typical taxpayer earning between $200,000 and $500,000 will get $6,560, which translates to about $250 per check.
Those numbers are somewhat overstated because they assume people will benefit from the law's cuts in business taxes, even if that doesn't actually show up in their paychecks. Also, not all of the tax savings will be distributed this year in paychecks — some of the money won't come until people get their tax refunds next year.
They are also averages, and there will be wide variations among taxpayers, depending on individual circumstances. Some will get bigger tax cuts, and some will pay more.
Just 29 percent think they will benefit from the new law, according to a survey released Wednesday by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center. Sixty percent said they expect it to have a “mostly negative” or “not much” effect on them personally.

Meanwhile, the women's movement surges, gays are threatened with refusal of health care professionals to treat them, and non-white minorities watch as white supremacists remain the darlings of the White House and Republican Party even as evangelicals seemingly ignore, if not bless,  Der Trumpenf├╝hrer adulterous affair with a porn star and hush money payments.  Let's hope Republicans are disappointed and the tax give away remains highly unpopular. 

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