For Democrats, it’s an article of faith that America’s rich don’t pay their “fair share” of taxes.
It was a constant theme of the Obama administration’s eight disastrous years, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Co. tried to use it as a rallying cry to derail tax cuts President Donald Trump signed into law in December.
Now, a new report is showing just how misplaced that Democrat faith really is.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the Washington-based think tank Tax Policy Center has some numbers breaking down the percentage of overall income taxes Americans are expected to pay under the new plan.
Even after the 2017 tax cuts, which passed without a single Democrat vote, Americans in the top 20 percent of the country in terms of income will pay a whopping 87 percent of the income taxes the government collects in 2018.
And they’re not just paying more than the rest of the country. On a percentage basis, they’re actually paying more than under the tax laws in effect before Trump signed the Republican tax plan.
In other words, liberals who were wrong before on taxes, are even more wrong now.
What makes this particularly powerful is the fact that the Tax Policy Center’s website describes itself as a “joint venture of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution.”
While they’re both officially “nonpartisan” agencies, they generally skew liberal (the Urban Institute was established by President Lyndon Johnson, an uber Democrat if ever there was one.) While it’s not Mother Jones, or The New York Times’ Paul Krugman, liberals could reasonably expect Tax Policy Center numbers to at least lean leftward.
Much as it will hurt Madame Pelosi, they don’t.
The Wall Street Journal reported: “For 2018, households in the top 20% will have income of about $150,000 or more and 52% of total income, about the same as in 2017. But they will pay about 87% of income taxes, up from about 84% last year.
“By contrast, the lower 60% of households, who have income up to about $86,000, receive about 27% of income. As a group, this tier will pay no net federal income tax in 2018 vs. 2% of it last year.”
Democrats have had plenty of misguided criticisms about how the tax cuts favor the rich while offering little to middle class Americans (Pelosi’s inane “crumbs crack” is still a classic). But the truth is actually the opposite (as is often the case with Democrat arguments).
As the Journal reports:
“According to Roberton Williams, an income-tax specialist with the Tax Policy Center, the share of taxes paid by the top 5% will rise despite the fact that people in it were the largest beneficiaries of the overhaul’s tax cut, both in dollars and percentages.”
That’s not an argument Democrats are going to highlight heading into the midterm elections. They need to stoke class warfare to turn out the base, and admitting that the class “enemy” is actually paying for most of the benefits in this country is no way to turn out the foot soldiers.
But reality has a way of making itself known, and the reality of American taxes is that the much-maligned wealthy are paying far more than their “fair share” of the country’s income taxes — even after the GOP tax cuts.
It won’t be enough to make true-blue liberals believers in the tax cuts, of course, but it might just shake the faith of a few sensible Democrats when it comes to their own party.
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