Earlier this month, in an effort to sell the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to the broader public, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) sent a Tweet highlighting the story of a secretary in Pennsylvania who, because of last year’s tax cuts, saw her take-home pay increase by $1.50 a week. Although the Tweet has since been deleted, Speaker Ryan’s story reminds us once again that what Congress delivered in the comprehensive tax reform package it passed late last year is a far cry from the kind of support most Americans need to build their financial stability.
While some workers, such as the secretary in Speaker Ryan’s Tweet, will see modest gains from the tax legislation, those gains are dwarfed by the massive tax breaks handed out to big businesses and the ultra-wealthy. Moreover, any benefits low- and moderate-income households would enjoy could be offset when cuts are made to critical programs that support health, housing and food assistance because of the $1.5 trillion hole in our budget left by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. For the secretary in Speaker Ryan’s Tweet and the rest of working America, a $75 annual benefit will be meaningless if access to these critical programs are hindered or cut off completely.
The good news is that whereas Congress took us farther away from an inclusive, progressive and equitable tax code, we continue to believe that our tax system should and can work for everyone. That is why the Tax Alliance exists: to promote a tax code that helps all people in our country get ahead. We believe in a tax code that is accessible, simple and transparent. We believe in a tax code that works as well for working-class families as it does for the families with the most wealth.
Throughout this tax season, you’ll hear all kinds of stories about how Congress’ tax reform is making a positive difference. But for whom? And at what cost? As you consider these questions as these debates play out over the coming weeks and months, the Tax Alliance will be by your side, continuing to advocate for a tax code that propels all people toward prosperity.
For more information about the Tax Alliance, explore our website. For specific information about our members’ statements and positions on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, browse our members and visit their websites to learn more.
The statement outlined above were developed by the Tax Alliance Steering Committee and may not reflect the views of individual members of the Tax Alliance for Economic Mobility.