We’ll All Pay If Democrats Scrap the Tax Cuts

COMMENTARY Taxes

We’ll All Pay If Democrats Scrap the Tax Cuts

Nov 5th, 2018 2 min read
COMMENTARY BY
Adam Michel

Policy Analyst, Roe Institute for Economic Policy

Adam N. Michel focuses on tax policy and the federal budget as a Policy Analyst in the Thomas A. Roe Institute.
U.S. House Republicans celebrate at a news conference announcing the passage of the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, U.S., November 16, 2017. Aaron Bernstein/REUTERS/Newscom

Key Takeaways

Many on the left are seeking a repeal of the Trump tax cuts. If they succeed, the fallout could devastate working-class Americans.

A family of four in New York’s 22nd District had their income taxes cut by more than 17 percent on average. That’s 1,500 hard-earned dollars they’ll get to keep.

If the tax cuts are taken away, Americans in every district will see their taxes go up and their economic opportunities limited.

With the midterms around the corner, it’s worth noting that many on the left are seeking a repeal of the Trump tax cuts. If they succeed, the fallout could devastate working-class Americans.

Consider: Trashing last year’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would leave the average New Yorker $22,500 poorer over the following 10 years. A typical family of four would lose out on $41,300 in take-home pay. That ain’t crumbs.

Calls for repeal aren’t just idle talk. Democrats have already introduced a bill in the House to do just that. Four New York City representatives — Carolyn Maloney, Yvette Clarke, Adriano Espaillat and Jose Serrano — have signed on. The plan raises taxes across the country by repealing the tax-cut legislation and expands subsidies for higher education, a key driver of rising tuition costs.

Democratic wannabes are either confused or being dishonest about the benefits of last year’s tax cuts. Anthony Brindisi, for example, claimed that the cuts are not “benefiting, by and large, the people in [his] district living paycheck to paycheck.”

That is simply not true. Using IRS data, the Heritage Foundation estimates that a family of four in New York’s 22nd District had their income taxes cut by more than 17 percent on average.

That’s 1,500 hard-earned dollars they’ll get to keep.

The economic success of lower taxes and fewer unnecessary regulations is even clearer. This summer, manufacturing activity hit its highest level in 14 years, and the longest-running period of businesses adding new jobs continues to roll on.

Workers across the country are benefiting twice from the tax cuts: first, by paying less in taxes, and second from higher wages generated by a faster-growing economy. Repealing the tax cuts would take that all away.

Some wealthy taxpayers in New York are also concerned about the new $10,000 cap on the state and local tax deduction included in last year’s tax law. Politically motivated attacks, amplified by shoddy reporting, have left most New Yorkers fearing they will wind up paying more because of the cap.

This, too, is simply false. In addition to lowering tax rates, last year’s tax reform increased the amount of income that is exempt from taxation and doubled the child tax credit. As a result, 90 percent of New Yorkers will see a tax cut or no change. By this measure, New York fares better than 26 other states — even with the cap on state and local deductions.

And the tax cuts left no part of America behind. In every congressional district throughout the country, the average family will see its federal taxes drop this year.

Yet the reverse is also true: If the tax cuts are taken away, Americans in every district will see their taxes go up and their economic opportunities limited. Over the course of a decade, repeal will leave hundreds of millions of taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars poorer.

Even if the tax cuts remain, they expire after 2025. This is why the House recently passed “Tax Reform 2.0,” which makes the cuts permanent and expands some benefits even more.
The growing federal deficit also threatens the tax cuts, as deficit spending now requires tax increases in the future. Yet the deficit is driven by out-of-control spending, not a lack of tax revenue. Indeed, the tax cuts are already generating additional revenue because of the better economy.

It’s not likely Democrats will win enough votes to scrap the cuts. But they could surely set the process in motion.

In any event, they should spend less time trying to score political points by telling people — falsely — they’re paying more tax as a result of last year’s legislation and threatening to repeal it. Instead, they should work to get their profligate spending habit under control. This will allow Congress to make the tax cuts permanent and solidify the current broad-based economic boom.

This piece originally appeared in the New York Post