Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) pretended that the Trump tax cuts helped working folks in order to hype more of the same if Republicans get back in power.
Near the end of an interview that was mostly about inflation, Brady touted the 2017 Trump tax cuts as superior to President Biden’s economic record. He said, “I love what we did as a team. I know we did great things for the economy. The economic agenda for the Republicans is going to start with making those tax cuts permanent, and then going even further in driving new innovation and help for families and small businesses.”
Cavuto pushed back a bit. “Democrats say tax cuts are just spending of another sort, so you’ll make deficits worse,” he said. “And that you’ll be going through the same thing Democrats are now overseeing, the red ink that goes on and on and on.”
Brady replied, “The facts prove them wrong. We’ve had since tax reform the three highest record revenue years in American history. That’s because when you grow the economy, people come back to work, higher paychecks that outpace inflation. We saw people of color, especially, and blue collar workers benefit the most. So, look, Washington doesn’t have a revenue problem, it has a big spending problem, and it will get worse if any part of this Build Back Better gets through.”
Cavuto then blew a rhetorical big kiss to Brady, saying, “I always enjoy talking. I always like to put you in a corner where all of a sudden you’re criticizing somebody in the party or about the tax cuts, but you definitely handled that.”
He kept the love going: “The blueprint for that, the tax cuts that became law, that got the economy booming, and the markets booming, a record number of jobs … it started there [with Brady], it built from there.”
FACT CHECK: Corporations benefitted more than workers from the Trump tax cuts. Also, President Biden has done better for the economy than Trump in year one. So far, Biden has outperformed Trump on jobs and GDP growth.
You can watch it below, from the April 13, 2022 Your World.
Tax rates were marginally lowered for lower income Americans, but at such a tiny percentage that most people would only have seen perhaps 5 to 10 bucks per week, if they saw anything after dealing with wildly increased health costs due to the Pence White House’s repeated assaults on the ACA. That 5-10 buck reduction was a ruse intended to allow the GOP to claim they’d “cut taxes for everyone” when in fact most people saw almost nothing.
At the same time, tax rates for anyone earning over $750K/year were significantly cut, with millionaires getting huge breaks on top of that. And the big corps got their book rate dropped by a whopping 2/5 of their prior obligation, going from a 35% book rate to a 21% book rate that meant most big corps now pay next to nothing. (Based on the angry Right Wing thinking that corps only raise prices if their tax burden is too heavy, one would think those corps would have radically lowered their prices accordingly. Of course, they did no such thing – and the corps walked away with massive windfalls for their execs and owners.)
And while the above was happening, the GOP made sure to throw in a targeted major tax INCREASE for Middle Class Employees, particularly those who live and work in Blue States. This was done through a combination of erasure of nearly all their annual deductions and an actual rate increase in two tax brackets. The combined impact has meant that Middle Class Employees who itemize their federal taxes have seen an increase of several thousand dollars over their annual burden from before the Tax Transfer was inflicted. Nearly every other employee I work with in my business (and this is a number in the thousands in my own case) saw their annual refund of say 3K/year as of 2017 switched to an annual BILL of say 4-5K/year as of 2018.
I want to make sure nobody misses the point here – the GOP deliberately RAISED TAXES in a spectacular way on Middle Class Employees with the Tax Transfer. The same people who formerly made a point of signing those Grover Norquist pledges to never ever ever raise taxes on anyone. Looks like they found a way to get around that pledge – unless of course they were fine to raise the taxes on this group of tens of millions of Americans. Angry Right Wingers like Kevin Brady of course “love what we did” in giving the wealthy and the corps a huge break while sticking Middle Class Employees with a huge increase. At the time the Transfer was inflicted, Brady and other GOP reps gloated about what they’d done to “raise taxes on the urbanites who voted for Hillary Clinton”.
To be very clear, this major increase was a deliberate slap at more liberal Americans who had appropriately asked for wealthy Americans to pay their fair share, as President Obama had discussed it several years prior. With this maneuver, Right Wingers were able to give the wealthy a big break while telling the Middle Class “No, YOU pay YOUR fair share, libtard!”
Brady’s comments about how great the economy was doing are non-sequitors. In fact, the Pence White House inherited a growing economy from President Obama, which of course led to regular taxpayers earning a little more and thus paying a little more overall before we factor in the Tax Transfer, which is where Right Wingers get the numbers to say they had record revenue years from regular taxpayers. And we must also look at that fourth year, 2020, where the economy was plunged into free fall thanks to the utter incompetence of the Pence White House in answering the COVID pandemic. Brady and Cavuto are hoping you’ll forget about that part of the story.
We are also aware that the loss of tax revenue from the ultra-millionaires and billionaires as well as the loss of tax revenue from the corporations actually led to massive intentionally increased deficits. Those deficits were intended to push the GOP narrative that “entitlements need to be cut”, which would set us up for the moves the GOP intended to take had they retained the Congress in 2019.
The “even further” maneuvers that Brady is referencing are the moves to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, which the GOP has never given up on pushing. While it’s doubtful that most angry Right Wingers think they can go as far as Rick Scott’s sneaky plan to just “sunset” SS and Medicare in a few years without anyone presumably noticing, they do think they can follow the Heritage Foundation recipe for gutting the programs. Per the HF, the plan is to reduce SS to about 1K/month as a flat amount, and to means test who receives it so that it effectively just becomes a bit of welfare for the indigent elderly who have no savings. For Medicare, the HF plan is the old “voucher” idea, which would again basically end that program. The GOP isn’t stupid enough to inflict those changes on the already retired population, so they’ll make them applicable only to those people not already receiving benefits – ie everyone under about 62 years old.
A taxpayer in their 50s would likely be told to just try to save more money in the next decade or perhaps keep working a few years longer. The Right Wing is well aware that this will infuriate most taxpayers who have paid into these programs for decades – their thinking is that they can spin it as a proof that “government doesn’t work” and set themselves up to completely eliminate the programs a few more years down the road.
Anyone thinking that the midterms this year and frankly every election going forward is not a crucial moment for the country is simply not paying attention. Angry Right Wingers like Brady are saying the quiet part out loud.