The GOP Has Just Been Caught in Perhaps Its Biggest Tax Lie

After repeatedly promising that all Americans would get a tax cut under their plan, Republicans have had to change their tune—or to, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did, admit that “I misspoke on that.” Just an innocent misspeaking, mind you, and not a calculated PR effort to sell tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy.

The Times analysis, using the open-source software TaxBrain, found that roughly one-quarter of families in the middle class would see their taxes increase in 2018, by about $1,000 on average. By 2026, the share seeing an increase would rise slightly, to about one-third, and the average increase would rise to about $1,600. For the majority of middle-class families that receive a tax cut, the average savings would be about $1,300 in 2018 and $1,700 in 2026. [...]

Under the House bill, The Times has found, about half of middle-class families would pay more in taxes in 2026.

An analysis by the Tax Policy Center found a smaller percentage of families seeing tax increases. Either way, there’s nothing wrong with paying more taxes—if it means that you get a government that’s better funded and able to invest in things like bridges and schools and the electrical grid. But this would be a tax increase to pay for a tax cut for corporations and the wealthy, and the same people saying oops, they “misspoke” are now saying “trust us, the corporate tax cut will get you a job.”

All of this is if Republicans can pass a tax bill at all. While the White House claims to be optimistic, there’s a lot to be worked out. There are, for instance, differences between the House and Senate bills:

House and Senate Republicans risk colliding over whether Americans should be able to deduct local property taxes from their federal taxable income. The House GOP bill would allow Americans to deduct up to $10,000 of those taxes from income as a way to placate complaints from conservatives in high-tax states such as New York, New Jersey and California.

In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Tex.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, stood firm on that provision, saying it is important to “make sure people keep more of what they earn, even in these high-tax states.”

The requirement in the Senate to either pass a bill that doesn’t add to the deficit after 10 years or get 60 votes is also a challenge that Republicans haven’t yet met. But they’re determined to pass something that they can call a win, even if it becomes a lot less of a win as Americans—already suspicious of the Republican plans—find out exactly how it affects them.


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