President Trump heralds his 2017 tax cuts as another example of “Promises Made, Promises Kept.” Yes, but to whom?

Trump claimed that his tax cuts would primarily benefit middle class and working families, resulting in the equivalent of a $4,000 to $9,000 raise. According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, the average tax cut for the richest 1% of Americans was $51,000 and for the lower 80%, $800. Since the tax cuts, annual median family income only increased 0.4%, or about $180 for a family with an income of $45,000, and less than the annual 0.7% increases in 2015 and 2016.

Who did benefit? The Center for American Progress estimates that Trump saved $11 million-$15 million in 2018 income taxes. Thanks to the 14% reduction in corporate income tax rates while retaining most tax loopholes, 60 Fortune 500 corporations did not even have to pay any income tax for 2018, including Eli Lilly, General Motors, IBM, and Chevron Oil. Amazon received a $129 million rebate. According to the publication American Banker, JP Morgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley saved $32 billion; all are Wall Street banks that gave us the 2008 recession.

Trump told us his tax cuts would pay for themselves and not increase the federal deficit. Congressional Budget Office figures tell the real story. Since Trump took office the deficit grew 50%. The budget deficit is now the largest since World War II. The $984 billion borrowed to pay for Trump’s tax cuts means those funds will not be available to mitigate the next recession when it hits and drive his proposed 2020 budget cuts to programs like Medicare, Medicaid and cancer research.

So yes, promises were made and kept by Trump, but to the large corporations, the super wealthy and Wall Street; not you and me.

 

George Seel

Belgrade


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