December 22, 2017
Only 24% of the American electorate thinks that the new tax law is a good idea; 63% believe that it is mainly for the rich and corporations, while only 7% are convinced it is aimed at the middle class. Those are the findings of an NBC News poll released on December 19.
So how did the GOP manage to single-handedly and secretively produce this political lemon?
Noted economist Paul Krugman wrote in a New York Times opinion piece on December 20, “Republicans have developed a deep disdain for people who just work for a living, and this disdain shines through everything they do. This is true both on substance – the tax bill heavily favors owners over workers – and in the way they talk about it.”
Although the G.O.P. has promised that the middle class will receive substantial tax cuts, Krugman says that is malarkey.
Texas Senator John Cornyn (R)—the Senate Majority Whip for the 115th Congress—tweeted on Monday that “Under #TaxCuts and Jobs Act a married couple earning $100,000 per year ($60,000 from wages, $25,000 from their non-corporate business, and $15,000 in business income) will receive a tax cut of $2,603.50, a reduction of nearly 24%.”
However, Krugman points out that this is based on a totally unrealistic scenario.
“In reality,” he wrote, “the vast majority of middle-class households have no business income, and for most of those who do have such income, it’s less than a quarter of their total income, let alone 40%.
“Meanwhile,” Krugman noted in the Times story, “the top 1% accounts for more than half of business income, and the top 5% for around 70% of the total. Since the value of the pass-through tax break depends on how high a marginal rate you pay on ordinary income, the benefits are even more skewed to the top.”
He notes that the plan is bound to get less popular, not to gain traction, over the next few months.
“The point is that the modern GOP basically despises ordinary working families, and this is increasingly obvious to the public,” Krugman asserted. He scoffed at the claim by Cornyn, stating, “Better salesmanship won’t solve this problem.”
Research contact: Mark Murray, NBC News(@mmurraypolitics)