To listen to the Democrats, the American middle class will be lucky to survive the Republican tax bill.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi calls the bill “monumental, brazen theft from the American middle class,” and that’s one of her more restrained comments. Pelosi says the bill is an affront to the Founding Fathers, veterans, children and all that’s good and true in America.

She constantly charges that the bill “raises taxes on 86 million middle-class households,” and “hands a breathtaking 83 percent of its benefits to the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans.”

This is a rhetorically potent line of attack that the polling suggests has made considerable headway. It just isn’t remotely honest. The Republican bill is, every factual analysis agrees, an across-the-board tax cut.

Pelosi’s seemingly damning factoids come from the year 2027, an odd date to focus on, since it’s not when the bill goes into effect, but when part of it lapses. In about 10 years, many of the tax cuts on the individual side expire, which Pelosi portrays as a Republican plot to loot the middle class.

It’s a very strange argument against passing a bill to say horrible things will happen once the legislation no longer fully applies. This is more logically a case for extending the bill than for blocking it. Indeed, it’s almost certain the middle-class provisions would eventually be preserved.

If Pelosi were being more scrupulous, she’d say, “If Democrats for some reason don’t agree with Republicans to extend the middle-class tax cuts — then they will disappear, and it will be shame on us.”

What is, by the way, this looming middle-class wasteland in 2027? Pelosi relies on the liberal Tax Policy Center for her figures. As that outfit puts it, “on average, in 2027 taxes would change little for lower- and middle-income groups.” Oh.

According to the TPC, the lowest quintile of “tax units” would see, on average, a $30 tax increase in 2027. The second quintile would see a $40 increase, and the middle quintile a $20 increase.

There’s a reason Pelosi doesn’t want to focus on the numbers when the tax bill she so vociferously opposes is fully in effect. In 2018, 80.4 percent of tax units get a tax cut, averaging $2,140. A grand total of 4.8 percent will see a tax increase. The small percentage of people with higher taxes is disproportionately tilted toward the top of the income scale.

There isn’t really debate over the contours of the bill. According to the analysis of the Joint Committee on Taxation, the average tax rate goes down for every income cohort in 2019, and the share of federal taxes paid by millionaires will rise slightly to 19.8 from 19.3.

It’s true upper-income people get a bigger tax cut in terms of absolute dollars than anyone else. As Brian Riedl of the Manhattan Institute points out, this is going to be the case for any across-the-board tax cut for the simple reason that the wealthy tend to pay more in taxes than anyone else.

The tax bill is hardly invulnerable to criticism. Even if Republicans don’t always like to admit it, corporate tax cuts are at the heart of the bill. They aren’t popular, but they are pro-growth. There used to be a bipartisan consensus — encompassing Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton — that we needed corporate tax reform.

Then there’s the deficit. Republicans can fairly be taken to task for budget gimmicks (like the expiration of the individual tax cuts) that squeeze a much bigger tax cut into a $1.5 trillion, 10-year window. All things being equal, economic growth will diminish some of the revenue loss. But the bill could’ve been smaller and added less to the deficit.

It’s impossible to say how the tax bill will play in the midterms. What’s certain is that, contra Pelosi, the middle class will emerge intact, and with a lower tax bill.

Rich Lowry can be reached via e-mail: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com.

0
1
0
0
2

(28) comments

johnnybragatti

You"re right old geezer,-ExLax
it"s a drag being overweight , and clueless too.,a bonafide flunkie, who never made very good, or very far, in life.
Clinton"s looking pretty good right "bout now , ain"t she?
Perhaps you"ll be "born again".,
and so what if Viagra don"t do nothing for you.,
why not try being young?

new2Lax

I guess my question would be, why is a Clinton not President. You all know why, Russia didn’t want her as President. I suspect the Russian prepared dossier she purchased was faulty and some how the emails exposed Democrats for what they are, to the point the Russian’s lost confidence in her. Those emails were nasty, true but nasty.

Climatehoax

I’m still waiting for my $2500.00 saving on health care that Odummy promised me. Surely no one will get scre wed over worse by the Republican tax bill than that tall tale. Did Pelosi mention that?

Clarification

Thank you Comrade for your post. The State is proud of you.

canman

What’s Pelosi bitchin about? She part of the 1 percenters that has always looked out for herself.

Rick Czeczok

They all are. Look at there yearly wages, and multiply them out now add 10% (above average stock growth over 20 years). Now look at there net worth and tell me how does that work out. Maybe corruption, lots of under the table moneys. How else can they get so filthy rich? Ron Kind is a prime example of it.
Vote them all out and start fresh, also write your senators and congress rep and demand term limits to stop this garbage.

kingman10

for on thing Rick Cz there is term limits, its called an election. And second of all when deciding who to vote for, just saying saying all incumbents have to go is like taking a sledge hammer after a fly. You mention Ron Kind, and yes he has been in there a long time. But all we seem to get to run against him is some tea bagger idiot who would make things a whole lot worse for the working class. So its always a matter of the lesser of two evils. Change for the sake of change is a short sighted and immature way of looking at the world. Change can be devastating if we get people in office bent on destroying the middle class. And we have plenty in office right now who are working to do just that.

Rick Czeczok

Boy I can't even begin to answer all the things you really need to take a hard look at here.
But please answer how the "working class" did so well under the eight year reign of President Obama? Also didn't he drive the debt up 9 trillion? And no term limits aren't the same as voting, otherwise in you're way of thinking Obama would still be in office.
Please stop attacking as it's very unbecoming... Yikkes

kingman10

ok I can spell it out for you Rick. Elections are suppose to be the mechanism to hold our politicians accountable. If you don't like them, vote them out! That what term limits mean. And no Obama did not drive up the deficit 9 trillion. He inherited two wars, remember? So you can attribute much of that 9 trillion to your pal Bush and his wars and his recession. Remember that too? You bet the middle class was better off under obama, just look at the 30 million who got health insurance, nothing to sneeze at. Look at the government loans to GM and the many thousands of jobs that saved. Look at the longest economic growth in history under Obama. Where you come up with Obama could be reelected is way out there. Now Obama didn't do everything perfectly, but considering what he inherited from the idiot before him, I would give him a passing grade. The guy in there now is the class clown, incoherent, showing signs of dementia and personality disorders who is only in it for himself and his greased up family.

Clarification

Good effort to sow dissent among the masses Comrade.

Rick Czeczok

Nothing to do with patriotism, on the contrary, just tired of bipartisan bs. on the part of both parties. If you don't think that has been happening, you're not paying attention. Change has always been good for every part of and in life. If the same people are left in place for to long it becomes stagnated and animosities start to build where nothing gets done. Thus is where we are at.

oldhomey

Change is always good? To err is human, Rick. We constantly make changes large and small in our own lives and in society, and sometimes the changes were mistakes. When they are mistakes, we correct them. E.g., remember the 18th amendment? We will be faced with years of mopping up and mending after this Trump debacle in the White House.

oldhomey

Canman tells us that Pelosi is "part of the 1 percenters that has always looked out for herself." That is a bit difficult to parse out, but I think he means Pelosi is a 1 percenter and 1 percenters always look out only for themselves. If Canman believes that (and I largely believe that myself), he must be very. very upset with this phony tax "reform", because it is for the benefit pure and simple of only the 1 percenters and corporations. Certainly it might throw a few crumbs at canman and me, but it simply makes the rich far richer and will leave the rest of us holding the bag as local and state government will be forced to raise taxes to mitigate for lost social services cut from the federal budget, the fallout from loss of tax revenue.

kingman10

What, no mention of ballooning the nation's debt! No mention of the upcoming financial crisis for medicare and children's health care! Yes the rich pay more in taxes , the question should be is, are they paying their fair share. Lowry likes to cherry pick the tax bill and leaves out the big loop holes for the ultra rich which remain intact such as the interest tax loophole which provides millions only to hedge funds and the rich. Another promise broken by Trump who said he would repeal that loophole. What we have I believe is a breakdown of morality, of fairness, of justice from our leaders. "We need leaders not in love with money, but in love with justice. Not in love with publicity but in love with humanity." Martin Luther King jr.

new2Lax

Why would anyone waste time trying to convince a Democrat the deficit has any importance what so ever. It has made no impact on them for decades, so why bother at this point. If the prior 8 years is any indication of concern, Republicans are getting on board. Republicans can no way come close to a Democrat in spending. It is peculiar why the Obama Administrations 10 trillion spent was of no concern, makes you wonder if they finally read a bill and discovered something. I guess the Republicans must be evolving or Democrats finally see the error of their way. Which is it?

crank

Well... You're half right. Let's be fair about this. You're right in your assessment about the assessment of the Democrats' citing the deficit/debt in their criticism of Republican fiscal policy because they are completely unconcerned with it while making their own fiscal decisions. Likewise, Republicans only seem concerned with deficit spending when the Democrats are doing the spending. This sort of partisan hypocrisy regarding budget matters is not new and neither part has a monopoly.

If either party were 'really' concerned about the deficit/debt, they would keep taxes the same or even raise taxes while at the same time cutting overall spending. Oh, but those politicians LOVE to spend taxpayer's money. They never seem to cut spending, ever.

Simplified...In a household with a pile of debt, it doesn't do much good to increase your income (e.g. get a second job, sell assets, etc.) and instead find new ways to spend that income rather than paying off debts and/or reducing overall expenses to save for things.

new2Lax

You are absolutely correct, It’s like A Democrat once told me, I’ve added a salad to all my meals and still have yet to lose any weight.

Tim Russell

So you gave him credit about being 1/2 right and then expounded upon that. But you never told us what 1/2 he was wrong about.

crank

Sure I did! I suppose some people need it spelled out for them or perhaps you can read it again to figure it out.

kingman10

your memory new2 needs a little refreshing. Clinton had a balance budget and it was on the way to paying down the debt. However another president stepped in, started two wars and cut taxes (revenue) and then the debt skyrocketed and the economy tanked. Then Obama came in, and in order to stimulate the economy deficit spending on things like infrastructure was needed to keep many Americans working and companies afloat. And Obama put the war debt and expenses in with the rest of the national budget, Bush tried to keep it separate. Now during his time republicans screamed about the debt and deficit, that was their prime complaint about Obama. Now Trump is in and you don't hear a word about the debt. Makes you realize the Republicans are evolving into a bunch of hypocrites who are more concerned about maintaining their financing for reelection than the debt. Now Trump inherited an economy that is doing quite well with low unemployment and a thriving stock market (you bragged about it yourself many times) so why is there a tax package to stimulate the economy? It doesn't need it by any measure. Or is it payback for favors granted. Which is it?

Tim Russell

He treats The Great Recession like the Iranians treat The Holocaust. He believes it never happened.

kingman10

guess new2 went hiding again.

Rick Czeczok

You really should see an anger management psychologist. It's not healthy to be as bitter you are. You have possibly 7 more years with the sitting president and I think by then you may go off the deep end. Please seek help.

Clarification

Hero of Russian disinformation award goes to you.

Tim Russell

While I certainly don't agree with Little Richie's assessment of the Donor's Class Tax Cut Act, I do agree it is time for Nancy to retire to the rocking chair.

Rick Czeczok

Why I think she is doing a great job for the democratic party. Obstruct and complain, don't offer anything constructive for the American public, but only worry about big government and the party. Politics has become so dirty on both sides. Vote them all out...

Tim Russell

Well I don't agree with much of that. The Republicans were big on obstruction during the Obama presidency. And since they controlled Congress for most of that period, the were successful at it. Right now, however, the Republicans control everything. So any attempts at obstruction are pretty futile.
But we agree that Nancy Pelosi needs to retire to the rocking chair.

Rick Czeczok

Funny because I agree with fully you on the obstruction. Both parties are at total fault. That's why we are a people of the government, and not a government of the people. It's going to get worse before it gets better, if we don't vote these power mongers out.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thanks for reading. Subscribe or log in to continue.

Already a subscriber?
Log in or Activate your account.