Where’s the Economic Boom We Were Promised?

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With Tax Day approaching, now is as good a time as any to examine what the results of the GOP tax cuts have been. Thus far, the economic boom supposed to be felt across the country has been delayed, perhaps indefinitely. Here’s the proof:

  1. Job growth is achieving the same three-month average the country has been seeing since January 2015. As predicted by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, tax cuts for the wealthy have not resulted in significant job growth.
  2. Workers across the country are yet to get the raises promised to them. Those that have received bonuses, raises or improved employee benefits are hardly getting their fair share of the corporate tax cuts. CNN reported that only 13% of companies’ tax cuts will go to workers, with 43% going to “investors in the form of stock buybacks and dividends.” The NY Times warns that these buybacks will further increase economic inequality in the country, as the benefits of stocks purchases flow disproportionately to the richest Americans. The top 1% of households owns 40% of all stocks.
  3. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of full-time wage and salaried workers in the country decreased between quarter 3 and 4 in 2017. The GOP tax bill was supposed to make businesses stronger and encourage adding staff.   
  4. The unemployment rate hasn’t moved in six months, which is the second longest period of time that the needle hasn’t moved up or down. While this in and of itself cannot be considered a negative effect of the tax bill, it doesn’t bode well moving forward. The last time the U.S. unemployment rate stalled for longer, which was a nine-month period from 1968-1969, the stretch was ended by a rapid rise in unemployment, according to The Washington Post. This stagnation in the unemployment rate has occurred, despite the GOP tax bill’s official name being the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

In addition to not benefiting the middle class nearly as much as the 1%, the GOP tax bill added to the ever-increasing deficit. This sleeping dragon will be virtually unconquerable in the coming years, especially if the temporary individual tax cuts are made permanent along with the corporate ones. The GOP is considering this in order to force Democrats to choose between voting against making the lower and middle class tax cuts permanent and adding to the ballooning deficits so much that cuts to safety net programs will be all but inevitable in the coming years.

This Tax Day, when the GOP tries to tout the massive savings being seen in middle class workers’ paychecks across the country, remember the numbers don’t lie. Instead of passing thoughtful legislation to improve the living standards and quality of life for the majority of the country– the working and middle class– Congress did the opposite. This needn’t be the case this time next year, and the work towards changing this starts in November.

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