Thanks, But No Thanks: Stop Bleeding the Middle Class to Cut Our Taxes

It’s Tax Day, so by now Americans have had a chance to see how their filings stack up against Trump’s promises. Working folks are largely unimpressed, but millionaires like us made out like bandits.

When Republicans pitched the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), they sold it as a tax break for the middle class, but despite lower income tax rates and a doubling of the standard deduction, filers are scratching their heads. The average American is getting a smaller tax refund this year, with many surprised to learn they’ll actually be cutting a check to Uncle Sam.

Republican lawmakers also boldly claimed that their tax cuts would unleash a frenzy of economic growth, raising wages, creating jobs, and paying for themselves. But workers are still waiting on the $4,000 raise they were told they’d receive, and employment remains virtually untouched. And since the fantastically ambitious growth Republicans predicted has failed to materialize, the cuts are on track to add $1.9 trillion to the national debt by 2027, a far cry from paying for themselves.

Meanwhile, most of the benefits from TCJA actually went to millionaires like us. Fully 83% of the tax breaks in the bill will go to the top 1% by 2027.The new deduction on pass-through income, up to 20%, applies largely to wealthy folks, as the top 1% of taxpayers are responsible for 70% of pass-through income. And with corporate taxes slashed by 40%, the number of Fortune 500 corporations paying absolutely nothing in federal taxes doubled from 30 to 60 in just one year.

But the worst is yet to come. Tax cuts, especially of this size, mean lost revenue, and Republicans are looking to balance the books on the backs of working Americans. The Trump administration’s proposed 2020 budget includes deep cuts across the board, from Social Security to Medicare to Pell Grants and beyond. Republicans are putting meat-and-potatoes programs that ordinary Americans rely upon on the chopping block to line their pockets, along with their corporate allies’. Additionally, while corporations will enjoy a permanent tax cut, the breaks available to ordinary Americans are largely set to expire in 2025, leaving them in the lurch.

While we are flattered by the generosity, our message to Republicans is clear — thanks, but no thanks. There’s just no good reason to cut our taxes and leave working Americans paying more for less. We’ve been getting break after break for decades, with corporations and the wealthy paying a shrinking share of taxes, and it has had a disastrous impact on our nation’s overall economic health. What we need is to pay our fair share in taxes to the country that makes our wealth possible. Taxes on the wealthy must be raised, not slashed, to ensure we have a functioning economy that allows every American to live and work in dignity and participate fully in our economy and society.

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