When math doesn’t square with your talking points
Sorry, Democrats, but data recently released from the IRS indicates tax refunds haven’t dwindled following Trump’s tax reform, they’re actually up by a whole 1.3% (on average).
Since its passage, Democrats have demonized the tax reform legislation, first claiming the increase in take-home pay was minimal, then suggesting companies would just keep the extra for themselves, greedy corporations and all. When large companies passed the saving to their employees, Democrats went back to the, well it’s just a one-time small gift, mantra.
As tax season bloomed, Democrats then claimed (and the press marched behind in lock-step) tax refunds had shrunk this year. Never mind that if you’re getting a refund, it’s because you overpaid your taxes, not because a benevolent government is giving you back more of your money they’ve been withholding interest-free. But I digress.
Andrew Wilford analyzed the data in a post at USA Today:
The IRS has released new data about tax filing season that has put weeks of overhyped media stories to rest: Compared to last year, refunds are now up 1.3 percent on average. Many politicians were quick to jump to conclusions about how tax refund data had proven that the recent tax cut law was a bad idea, but it’s turning out that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has been on the whole a windfall for taxpayers up and down the income ladder.
This debate was always a bit silly. The size of tax refunds is not a useful metric for evaluating tax liability — realistically, the only thing they effectively measure is how accurate the federal withholding tables and individual withholding decisions were. While it’s understandable that many perceive a significant refund as a windfall, the truth is that tax refunds are an interest-free loan the taxpayer gives the federal government, not some sort of financial bonus.
On the other hand, when it comes to tax liability, the vast majority of American families come out ahead. The Tax Policy Center found that 90 percent of middle-class American families would receive a tax cut this year, while the Tax Foundation estimated that middle-class families would receive an average tax cut of 1.7 percent (the most significant reduction of any income level, including the wealthiest).
So where did Democrats go wrong? Wilford explains:
That didn’t stop Sen. Kamala Harris from stating that this was proof that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was a “middle-class tax hike to line the pockets of already wealthy corporations and the 1 percent.” Nor did it prevent Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee tweeting out an article slamming the TCJA for “falling refunds” just a few hours before the IRS released its updated data showing refunds higher than last year.
Hopefully, Sen. Harris and the Ways and Means Committee Democrats knew what they were tweeting was misleading when they tweeted it, and let’s face it: Politicians sometimes say misleading things. That being said, they should have known that there was a good chance their overconfidence would come back to bite them.
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