Myths and Facts About the Historic Tax Bill
by Congressman Raul Labrador
December 22, 2017
This week, I voted for a major tax reform bill – the first substantial overhaul of our tax code in 31 years. This bill passed Congress and President Trump signed it into law. I supported this legislation because it will give much-needed tax relief to the majority of Idaho families and businesses. Specifically, it creates a flatter, simpler tax code, which includes the following changes:
- Lowering individual tax rates for low- and middle-income Americans
- Nearly doubling the standard deduction
- Expanding the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000
- Lowering the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%
- Repealing the Obamacare individual mandate tax
What does this mean for everyday Americans? For the average family that is working paycheck to paycheck, this tax bill will lower their taxes by an average of 60 percent. The average single mother will receive a 70 percent tax cut.
While I would have preferred to see Congress go further in eliminating loopholes, lowering the overall rates, and reducing spending to avoid increasing our debt, the bill we passed is a good start. As far as I’m concerned, any time we can allow Idahoans to keep more of their hard-earned money, that’s a good thing.
It’s also worth noting that three times in recent history – under Presidents Kennedy, Reagan, and George W. Bush – major tax relief was followed by significant job creation, stronger growth, and even higher tax revenue (because of the stronger economy). Under President Reagan alone, major tax relief helped create 14.8 million new jobs over a five-year period. We should expect this week’s tax bill to stimulate our economy and create more jobs.
The Democrats, however, don’t see it that way. They’ve resorted to a series of lies and exaggerations to drive public opposition to the bill. For starters, they keep claiming the Republican tax plan will raise taxes on middle class families. “On average, middle class families earning less than $86,000 would see a tax increase under the Republican ‘tax reform plan,’” said Democrat Senator Kamala Harris.
The Washington Post’s official fact-checker, however, said this was blatantly untrue, awarding Harris and other Democrats “four Pinocchios” (their worst rating) for their “whopper” claims on the Republican tax plan.
“In their haste to condemn the GOP tax plan, Democrats have spread far and wide the false claim that families making less than $86,100 on average will face a hefty tax hike,” said the Post’s fact-checker. “Actually, it’s the opposite…Most families in that income range would get a tax cut.”
The left-leaning Tax Policy Center (TPC) put together a report on the Republican tax plan confirming that the vast majority of American families will get a tax cut.
“We find the bill would reduce taxes on average for all income groups in both 2018 and 2025,” TPC said. In the first year, 91 percent of middle-class taxpayers and 80 percent of all taxpayers would get a tax cut, according to TPC.
TPC also disproved House Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi’s myth that “83 percent of [the Republican tax bill’s] benefits [go] to the wealthiest 1 percent.” In fact, it’s the opposite, with the bottom 80% getting a larger share of the tax cuts than the top 1%. The bottom 80% will get 35% of the tax cuts while the top 1% will only get 21% of the cuts, according to TPC.
The Democrats are also lying when they say the Republican tax bill will cause people to lose their health insurance. “We’re kicking 13 million people off health insurance to give tax cuts to the wealthy,” charged Senate Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer.
Once again, this didn’t fly with the Washington Post’s fact-checker. He awarded Schumer “two Pinocchios,” although I personally think he deserves four. Why? The Republican plan isn’t kicking a single person off their health insurance. What we are doing is repealing the Obamacare individual mandate tax. No longer will people be taxed for not having insurance.
To quote the Post’s fact-checker, “the impact of repealing the individual mandate is mostly describing a voluntary action not to buy health insurance.” That’s exactly right, which is why the fact-checker charged Schumer and other Democrats with “using inaccurate language that we have warned Democrats about before.”
Unfortunately, the Democrats’ misrepresentations are having an impact, thanks in large part to the national media, which repeat them verbatim. According to a CNN poll taken just before the House vote, 55 percent of Americans oppose the tax bill. But here’s where things get interesting: During the House debate, the Washington Post acknowledged, “The tax bill is likely to become more popular after passage.” Why? Because “for at least the next eight years, the undeniable math is that most people are going to pay less.”
But don’t tell Nancy Pelosi that. She says the tax bill is “Armageddon.”
The Democrats should be embarrassed for coming up with these lies. It’s fine if they disagree with the tax plan. But it is malpractice to lie and misinform the public. The reality is, with the help of fellow Republicans, the President kept his promise. This is a positive step that allows the majority of Americans to keep more of what they earn.
This was a great week for the American people and a fitting end to 2017. And we are going to keep working hard to get even better results for 2018.
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