Locking in further regressive tax cuts would just make the TCJA worse

Hunter Blair

Hunter Blair Budget Analyst, EPI

The House is set to vote this week on a second round of tax cuts that Republicans have dubbed “Tax Reform 2.0.” The first Republican tax cut, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), was incredibly regressive with the worst component being a corporate rate cut that Republicans chose to make permanent. We said at the time that arguments that corporate rate cuts would trickle down to typical workers were bunk. And so far there is little evidence to suggest anything different.

Now House Republicans are hoping to solve a political problem—the unpopularity of their signature tax cut in 2017—by centering a second round of tax cuts on making the individual cuts in the TCJA permanent to achieve parity with the already-permanent corporate rate cuts. Republicans are marketing this as a tax cut for the middle class, but it’s nothing of the sort.

The second round of Republican tax cuts are still tilted towards the topShare of total federal tax change by income quintile, 2026

While the TCJA’s individual tax cuts may be less tilted towards rich households than the extremely regressive corporate tax cuts, these individual cuts are still awfully regressive in their own right. According to the Tax Policy Center, the bottom 60 percent, households making under $95,000, would get just 20.2 percent of the benefits. While the top 20 percent, households making over $168,600, would receive 63.0 percent of the benefits.

Locking in further regressive tax cuts won’t fix the TCJA, it will only exacerbate its deep flaws. Congress should reject this second round of Republican tax cuts for the rich.

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Reposted from EPI

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Labor Wins

From the AFL-CIO

On Tuesday, the labor movement drove historic wins for pro-worker candidates like Governor-Elect Andy Beshear in Kentucky and new legislative majorities in Virginia. Not only did union members come out to vote in droves, 270 union member candidates were elected to public office last night and counting. This adds to the total of more than 900 union members elected up and down the ballot in last year’s midterms, a product of the Union Member Candidate Program launched by the AFL-CIO just two years ago. The share of union members who won in the 2018 midterms is two-thirds. The program will continue through 2020 and beyond, electing even more union members to public office. 

“Our efforts recruiting, training and supporting labor candidates have led to the passage of pro-worker legislation from coast to coast and everywhere in between,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said.

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