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Study Finds GOP Tax Plan Helps Wealthy, Hurts Middle Class

by Countable | 10.4.17

What’s the story?

A study by the nonpartisan Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center has found that the GOP’s "Unified Framework for Fixing our Broken Tax Code" would vastly benefit the top 1 percent of Americans while 1-in-4 households would pay more in taxes.

Despite promises by the GOP that their plan would benefit the middle class, the Tax Policy Center found that around 30 percent of taxpayers earning between $50,000 and $150,000 a year would see their taxes increase. The majority of households "making between about $150,000 and $300,000 would pay more, mainly because most itemized deductions would be repealed."

Meanwhile, the Tax Policy Center found that "the benefit would be largest for taxpayers in the top 1 percent (those making more than $730,000), who would see their after-tax income increase 8.5 percent."

A spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has dismissed the report.

Why does it matter?

President Donald Trump, announcing the tax plan in Indianapolis last week, promised the "reform will protect low-income and middle-income households, not the wealthy and well-connected. I’m doing the right thing, and it’s not good for me, believe me."

But even before the Tax Policy Center’s findings were announced, Democrats questioned Trump’s math.

"If this framework is all about the middle class, then Trump Tower is middle-class housing," said Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, the ranking Democrat on the Finance Committee. “It violates Trump’s tax pledge that the rich would not gain at all under his plan by offering sweetheart deals for powerful C.E.O.s, giveaways for campaign coffers and a new way to cheat taxes for Mar-a-Lago’s loyal members.”

While the Tax Policy Center’s report confirmed these concerns, a spokeswoman for Mitch McConnell - one of the "Big Six" Republican lawmakers and White House officials who crafted the plan – dismissed the findings.

"This analysis is based on guesswork and biased assumptions designed to promote the authors’ point of view rather actual detail from a bill that has not yet been written by the committees," said Antonia Ferrier.

However, on the Sunday news programs following the report’s release, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin both acknowledged that it was impossible to ensure the middle class would get a tax cut.

"You can’t make guarantees because every single person’s taxes are different," Mnuchin told ABC News. “People take advantage of different things, so we can’t make that guarantee.”

Some GOP lawmakers are already expressing concerns. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) tweeted:

But Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, derided the Tax Policy Center’s findings as a "work of fiction that Stephen King would have been proud of." While Brady would not guarantee to the New York Times that all middle-class taxpayers would get a tax break, he said:

"I will guarantee that we are going to work hard to lower taxes on every American, increase their paychecks and dramatically simplify the code for them."

What do you think?

Are the Tax Policy Center’s findings legit? Are you concerned you won’t get the tax cuts the Trump promised? Hit Take Action, tell your reps what you’d like to see in a tax plan, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman

Related Reading

(Photo Credit: AndreyPopov / iStockphoto)

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(116)
  • John
    10/04/2017
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    Fuckn duh

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  • Michael
    10/04/2017
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    Why does the GOP continue to produce tax plans that further exacerbate the income inequality in the USA. Isn't the wealth already overly concentrated in the top one percent. Goes to prove that we have the best government MONEY CAN BUY. Legislation is driven by the lobbyists and other money interests without regard for what is good for the population as a whole.

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  • Rick
    10/04/2017
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    Trump is a “What can you do for me right now?” kind of guy. Nothing good for the American people over the long haul will come from someone of his mindset. #Resist

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  • Samantha
    10/04/2017
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    I do not support this “tax reform” bill. It will hurt the middle class and increase the national debt to the detriment of all. The is not a true tax reform, just a handout to the wealthy and corporations.

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  • JamisonH
    10/05/2017
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    This tax plan disproportionately helps the wealthiest members of our society, not just in terms of pure numbers but also in percentage of cuts. This is nothing short than our president and his cronies seeking to enrich themselves.

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  • Amanda
    10/04/2017
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    Think of the millions of families this will affect. Congress needs to do better than this. Stand up to the lobbyists and do your job to make this a stronger country and a better place for everyone to live. Strengthening the middle class (and the lower class!) will benefit everyone.

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  • Paul
    10/04/2017
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    Do not pass a tax bill just for the sake of taking action. Create a bipartisan bill that benefits the nation, not people of influence. Stand up and be accountable to all the people you represent. This country needs leadership that they can trust and believe in.

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  • Vivian
    10/04/2017
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    I am against this tax bill. It benefits the top 1% and could increase taxes for the middle class as well as increase the bottom tax bracket from 10% to 12%. It decreases Medicare, Medicaid, SNAP funding. Also opens up Medicare to become a voucher system and if you are in a state which has high property taxes, that deduction will go away. All I see is less for everyone except the top 1%. Do not support....

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  • August
    10/04/2017
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    Once again, a Republican tax plan that benefits the wealthy and does nothing for the shrinking middle class. Let us not also not forget it increases our huge national debt. See you at the polls in 2018.

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  • Terry
    10/08/2017
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    This appears to be more of what we already see, the rich get richer and everyone else pays the bill for that. In order to pay for these tax cuts I am sure the next step will be to reduce funding for Medicare and Medicaid and to reduce SS benefits. Of course, the top 1% don’t care about those things because they won’t be depending on them in their later years.

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  • Lisa
    10/07/2017
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    The wealthy are the ones who pay the taxes. Why is it a shock that they are helped? If the poor actually paid taxes they would be helped, too. Duh.

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  • Woody
    10/07/2017
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    Everyone should get a tax reduction and includes the $400,000 a year “S” company owner that pays the highest rate. A lower rate would allow me to hire more people, grow my company and pay more tax. Ask yourself- did you ever have a “poor” person write you a paycheck?

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  • Maria
    10/08/2017
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    Close loopholes and go to flat rate then everyone shares equally by percentage of income

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  • KansasTamale
    10/04/2017
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    This plan has been implemented in Kansas for the last 6 years by Brownback's bunch and our state is almost bankrupted. This is the same ole " trickle down" nonsense that every Republican president has tried since Reagan & every time the country has gone into a recession. Kansas finally passed legislation to tax the rich again. We may make it. There isn't anyone with brains surprised about this budget. The GOP is just as hard-hearted about taking more tax money from the poor & middle class the same way they would take their healthcare away.

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  • Sherrie
    10/07/2017
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    Not a surprise, all spins try to confuse Americans

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  • Kyle
    10/04/2017
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    Treasury Secretary Mnuchin admitted that a significant portion of middle class families could see a tax increase under this plan. This is NOT a middle class tax cut package!

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  • Mary
    10/05/2017
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    Obviously you republicans are for increasing taxes on the middle class and not those rich like you and Trump. It doesn't surprise me, you and the one percent hold all the cards, we the working poor will have to vote you out if you pass this tax reform!

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  • Heidi
    10/04/2017
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    Oh wow!! So surprised... said no taxpayer ever!

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  • Poli.Sci
    10/04/2017
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    I'm sorry but I never saw Obama increase taxes on the 1%, and everyone was so happy with his tax policies. So when the higher middle-class pays a little more, people have a problem with that? Honestly this tax plan is acceptable, not fully finished, but acceptable. Again, this tax plan also helps the small business owner as well, something this country drives on and has been taking too much from as of late. This tax plan brings support back to the local level, even if it increases a SMALL majority of the Middle-class, and benefits to lower and lower middle-classes. Stop nitpicking the fact that the 1% gets a small tax break. Most have earned that money, it's not anyone else's money, let them have it and donate it to the many programs they do donate to.

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  • Christine
    10/07/2017
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    djt release your tax returns.

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