Monday is the first Tax Day under the new Republican tax bill passed in December 2017, and the results are not what Democrats and their media apparatus predicted. Many Americans are discovering that they are not only alive and well, but indeed paying less taxes.
As Ben Casselman and Jim Tankersley pointed out in The New York Times, there is a disparity between what Americans thought they would be paying the IRS this year, and what they actually paid. This myth, “appears to flow from a sustained — and misleading — effort by liberal opponents of the law to brand it as a broad middle-class tax increase.”
What falsities did these liberal opponents tell the American people would happen pending the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act? Here are a few of the most outrageous examples of fear-mongering.
1. 10,000 People Will Be Killed Every Year
Economist and former Treasury secretary Larry Summers wrote in a Washington Post op-ed that “the conclusion would follow that the tax bill would result in 10,000 extra deaths per year.” On CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” he explained why he thought the bill was “very dangerous.”
“When people lose health insurance, they’re less likely to get preventive care, they’re more likely to defer health care they need, and ultimately they’re more likely to die,” he said.
2. The Tax Bill Is ‘Akin To Rape’
Bruce Bartlett, a writer and former Treasury official, said the bill would not create a single job, that Republicans want the poor to pay more taxes to force them to work more, and that the bill is “really akin to rape.”
3. ‘Armageddon’ and the Worst Legislation Ever Considered By Congress
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who was minority leader at the time the bill was passed, said the tax reform bill was “the worst bill in the history of the United States Congress.”
When a reporter asked her later about her hyperbolic descriptions, she replied, “No, it is the end of the world. The debate over health care is life and death. This is Armageddon.”
4. Grad Students Will Have to Quit Doctorate Programs
When graduate students were told their tuition waivers for working as teaching assistants and researchers would become taxable, they calculated that their taxes would increase by 61 percent.
As she started to do the math, tears welled up.
‘I would have to drop out,’ she said. ‘If this tax bill passes, I can’t support anyone, I can’t even support myself.’
5. America Is Dead
At least, according to Kurt Eichenwald.
America died tonight. Economic suicide adopted to feed the insatiable greed of donors, who have been refusing to dole out $ to GOP until they got their tax cuts. Voters fooled by propaganda and tribal hatred.
Millenials: move away if you can. USA is over. We killed it.
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) December 2, 2017
6. Republicans Want to Kick the Poor, Middle Class In the Face
Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell described the ways Republicans are using higher taxes to “plan to punish the poor and middle class.”
I used to think the Republican Party’s obsession with top-heavy tax cuts was about pleasing wealthy donors and maybe also fulfilling some misguided Randian fantasy. If the poor and middle class happened to be collateral damage, so be it.
But it’s starting to look like shafting the little guy has become a feature, not a bug, of the GOP’s budget-busting tax plan.
The left-leaning Tax Policy Center reported that 91 percent of middle-class taxpayers are getting a tax cut this year.
7. Most People Are Getting Bigger Paychecks. Here’s Why That’s Bad
Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance wrote about a looming “tax surprise” in 2018, without ever explaining why giving the government a smaller interest-free loan with every paycheck might be better than a fat refund.
The TCJA lowered the overall tax burden for about two-thirds of workers, leaving a majority with slightly larger paychecks. But a quirk could leave some taxpayers with an unhappy surprise as they file their 2018 returns this year, and find that the refund they were expecting is smaller than before. Some people accustomed to a refund could even end up owing money, instead.
8. New Yorkers Allege All Americans Will Suffer
The day before the tax bill was signed in December 2017, protesters staged a “die-in” on Wall Street, near the New York Stock Exchange. One protester laying on the ground held a sign in the shape of a gravestone that read, “RIP/tax scam helped the rich/not me.”
“If we don’t stop this, we, the young people, are not going to have a future,” the protester, Nova Felder, told City and State New York.
A number of New York community leaders participated in the protests, too. “All of us will suffer as a result of those who care more about corporations than they do about the people,” said New York City Public Advocate Letitia James.
9. An Endless, Global Recession
“We are very probably looking at a global recession, with no end in sight,” wrote New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. “I suppose we could get lucky somehow. But on economics, as on everything else, a terrible thing has just happened.”