Middle class was anything but left behind by Trump tax reform

There is a clear disconnect between the rhetoric of the Democrats and the gains being felt in the Trump economy because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

The U.S. jobless rate is at a 50-year low, but according to the left, the current strong economic outlook is purely coincidental.

Former Vice President and 2020 hopeful Joe Biden recently claimed only the wealthy received a tax cut from the GOP tax reform, a claim that received “Four Pinocchios” from the Washington Post fact checker.

Meanwhile, self-avowed socialist Bernie Sanders claimed the strong economy was not a result of tax reform or other Trump policies but did not offer an alternative theory for why the economy is doing well.

And House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md. claimed that the GOP tax reform “left the middle class behind.”

Left behind?

Did only the wealthy receive a tax cut from tax reform? Does the strong economy have nothing to do with Trump policies? Was the middle class “left behind?”

The data say otherwise on all fronts.

Average hourly earnings have grown 3.2 percent over the past year and GDP grew by 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2019.

Unemployment has been at or below 4 percent for the past 14 months, and the economy has added an average of 218,000 jobs per month over the past year.

And this positive economic news extends to key demographics: unemployment for adult women is at 3.1 percent, a 66-year low, unemployment for Hispanics is at 4.2 percent – the lowest rate since this data was first collected in 1973, and veteran unemployment is at just 2.3 percent – a 19 year low.

As for tax cuts and leaving the middle class behind, Democrats pointed to the fact that Americans were seeing lower tax refunds half way through this year’s tax season as proof that the tax cuts were bad for the middle class.

Because of this relentless messaging, 43 percent of Americans were unsure how tax reform affected their tax bill, according to Gallup.

Now that tax season has concluded, the data show that the average refund was down just $55 from $2,780 to $2,725.

In reality, taxpayers made this gap up each two-week paycheck, with the average taxpayer seeing an average of $50 more according to data released by H&R Block.

This should not be a shock.

In total, H&R Block found that federal taxes were down almost 25 percent for 2018.

The average household is seeing tax savings of almost $27,000 over the next decade, according to estimates released by the Heritage Foundation.

And Americans at every income level and in every Congressional district are seeing tax reduction, a fact that even left-of-center think tanks and the New York Times have admitted.

However, Democrats are failing to acknowledge the positive gains of the GOP tax cuts even after recent reports showing strong GDP and jobs growth.


Instead, ahead of the 2020 elections they are running on wiping out the gains of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and replacing them with an agenda of higher taxes across the board.

Alex Hendrie is director of tax policy at Americans for Tax Reform, a free market advocacy organization dedicated to lower taxes and limited government.