Surprise! The Senate Tax Bill Kills the Middle Class, But It’s Great For the Rich

A few days ago the Joint Committee on Taxation released its analysis of the Senate tax bill, which I wrote about here. My conclusion was that the bill was “batshit crazy,” but Republicans cried foul. The JCT analysis included the effects of eliminating Obamacare’s individual mandate, and while that seems fair to me, it didn’t to them. They want just the taxes, ma’am.

The Tax Policy Center heard their pleas and did an analysis based solely on the tax provisions in the bill. Here it is:

In 2027, the very poorest will see a small tax increase and the middle class will see a tiny decrease. The rich, of course, will get a sizeable tax cut.

But believe it or not, that’s not the worst part of the TPC analysis. The chart above is an average of all the winners and losers in each income category. But if you dig a little deeper, just how many winners and losers are there? This many:

Among middle-class families, 50-70 percent will see a tax increase by 2027. Among the rich, that number is only 15-30 percent. And among the super-duper rich, almost no one sees a tax increase.

It’s really hard to think of things to say about these charts. They come out every few days, and they’re from reputable sources. And they all show a massive preference toward the rich. But Republicans like Orrin Hatch pretend to be outraged when anyone points this out. Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan stay scarce so they don’t have to answer questions. Other Republicans insist that these analyses are totally bogus because they don’t account for supercharged growth, and Fox News eagerly joins in. Donald Trump, who would reap tens of millions of dollars from this tax bill, routinely lies in public about how he’d “get killed”—and then tosses in a real thigh slapper: “The deal is so bad for rich people, I had to throw in the estate tax just to give them something.”

Yuk yuk. But this is fundamentally why Donald Trump is president: despite everything, rich people backed him because he’d give them a tax cut and Hillary Clinton wouldn’t. The love of money may not be the root of all evil, but it sure is responsible for a lot of it.

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Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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