Republicans are sad and bewildered at their ongoing failure to convince millions of Americans that the scant crumbs left over from the massive tax cuts they bestowed upon billionaires is actually a feast:
More than three months after the passage of the GOP’s tax-cut law, new surveys suggest that many people don’t think they are getting bigger paychecks, which could cut into support for Republicans in this fall’s midterm elections.
A CNBC poll this week stated that just 32 percent of working adults reported having more take-home pay due to the new law, a problem for Republicans hoping to run on the measure and the health of the economy in November.
In other words, Republicans have been unable to bullshit the country into believing the tiny bump in their paychecks is worth voting Republican. That’s assuming the bump is actually there in the first place. Despite the GOP repeatedly lying about how corporations would shower the tax cuts they were getting onto their workers, the reality is quite different:
Almost all the extra money is going into stock buybacks. Since the tax cut became law, buy-backs have surged to $88.6 billion. That’s more than double the amount of buybacks over the same period last year, according to data provided by Birinyi Associates.
Compare this with the paltry $2.5 billion worth of employee bonuses corporations say they’ll dispense in response to the tax law, and you see the bonuses for what they are: a small fig leaf to disguise the big buybacks.
Yes, those bonuses are nice but a one time bonus is worthless in the long run compared to a significant and permanent pay raise. But pay raises are not good for stockholders so they’re simply not happening in significant amounts.
And when people do see a bump in their paycheck, it tends to be just that: A bump, and a very tiny one at that:
One reason is that many taxpayers won’t end up receiving a particularly large tax cut, especially if the benefit is spread out over the course of the year.
For example, the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center has estimated that people with incomes between $48,600 and $86,100 will, on average, receive a tax cut of $930 for 2018, which is around $35 per pay period if divided equally among 26 pay periods. The group said that people with income of below $25,000 will, on average, get a tax cut of only $60 over the course of the whole year.
“The tax bill just doesn’t provide much benefit to most people,” said Vanessa Williamson, a fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution.
“The tax bill just doesn’t provide much benefit to most people.” No, it doesn’t because it wasn’t supposed to. The GOP’s tax cuts for billionaires were always supposed to benefit the ultra-wealthy and throw enough scraps at the rest of us that Republicans could pretend it was a rising tide raising all our boats.
The problem is that in order to sell that lie, Republicans needed to be able to blanket the country in lies without interruption and without distraction. They needed the Bully Pulpit extolling the deliciousness of crumbs for the peons. They needed to browbeat the “liberal” press into not questioning their phony math and just act as stenographers. They needed the usual message discipline of the Republican propaganda machine.
Instead, they have the constant chaos and noise of the Donald Trump Reality Show White House. In the constant hurricane of Trump’s madness, there is zero coherent messaging on the billionaire tax cuts. That means the cuts have to stand on their own virtues and like every Republican priority, tax cuts, voter suppression, deregulation, etc, without a coordinated effort to shine a turd, all you’re left with is a pile of shit.
Good luck running on that in November, fellas.
I’m a stay at home dad, father to a special needs son and a special daughter, a donor baby daddy, a militantly pragmatic liberal, the president of the PTA, a hardcore geek and nerd and I’m going to change the world. Or at least my corner of it.