President Donald Trump promised on Saturday that he would cut taxes on the middle class even further if he’s elected to a second term on November 3. Tax cuts have long been part of his pitch to voters.
Trump told a campaign rally in Bucks County, Pennsylvania that if he secures a second term, middle class taxes will be further reduced, but critics charge Republicans in Congress intend to do the exact opposite.
“With your vote, I will cut middle class taxes even more,” Trump said. “I mean, we cut them at the highest level in the history of our country. Even more. You saw what it did.”
“That’s why we’re coming back so quick because we have a strong foundation, a base. And I will always defend and promote Pennsylvania energy and there will be no more lockdowns,” Trump went on.
“We’re not gonna have lockdowns.”
Despite the president’s claims, the 2018 tax cuts were not the biggest in history in absolute terms or as a measure of GDP.
While Trump has repeatedly touted further tax cuts for middle class Americans, the Republican tax reforms will mean tax increases for most Americans between 2021 and 2027.
As Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz pointed out in The New York Times on Saturday, tax increases had already been approved by Congress in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
“The law they passed initially lowered taxes for most Americans, but it built in automatic, stepped tax increases every two years that begin in 2021 and that by 2027 would affect nearly everyone but people at the top of the economic hierarchy,” Stiglitz wrote. “All taxpayer income groups with incomes of $75,000 and under — that’s about 65 percent of taxpayers — will face a higher tax rate in 2027 than in 2019.”
Stiglitz accused Republicans of having “hoodwinked” Americans with “stealth tax increases” which will also see most people who earn over $100,000 a year getting a tax cut.
“You might well ask: Why didn’t Mr. Trump just give everyone a tax cut?” Stiglitz asked. “The Republicans — who suddenly lost their grasp on their self-described fiscal conservatism when they came into office in 2017 — saw a chance to give their rich friends and corporations a big thank you for campaign contributions.”
These aren’t the only criticisms of Trump’s tax reforms. Others have pointed to the fact that people are no longer able to deduct their state and local taxes. This deduction was capped at $10,000 and so was of greater benefit to Americans on middle and lower incomes.
Former Vice President Joe Biden has also made tax reform a part of his campaign. Speaking in Texas on Friday, the Democrat said he “will not raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 a year — period. But I will make big corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share.”