Members of the media are pushing the narrative that tax cuts are unpopular with voters. The truth is that they aren’t unpopular. American families like—and need—tax cuts.
Taxes are unpopular because voters know they can spend their money better than Washington can. They can invest it, they can save it, and they can donate it to the causes they care deeply about.
Taxes are also unpopular because Washington is bloated. It’s no secret that it wastes taxpayer money all the time.
Last year, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., pointed out that the federal government was spending $1.7 million for a comedy club starring holograms of dead comedians; $1.5 million to test the endurance of fish on a treadmill; $3.5 million to learn why people are afraid of going to the dentist; $300,000 to study whether girls or boys spend more time playing with Barbie dolls; and $450,000 to determine if dinosaurs could sing, among many other examples.
In December, Republicans passed tax reform. However, a curious thing occurred. Public approval for the tax cuts was at a mere 37 percent.
If tax cuts are inherently popular, why would the approval numbers be so low? I would like to suggest that it is because the American people have been intentionally misled by Democratic leaders.
Democrats have perpetuated the myth that only the rich received tax cuts in January—and that’s simply not true. In fact, the Wall Street Journal editorial board actually complained throughout the process that Republicans were cutting taxes for everyone except the rich.
One Democratic candidate in Wisconsin even said that 99.8 percent of Americans will get “not one nickel” in tax cuts—a statement that even the left-leaning Politifact admitted was “Pants on Fire” false.
The truth is that the average household will get a tax cut of $1,610 in 2018.
For a great illustration of how folks have been misled by Democratic leaders, take a look at the segment that CBS aired on Dec. 22 about three diverse American families that met with an accountant to estimate their 2018 taxes.
In each case, the family was skeptical that they’d see their taxes lowered in 2018, but the accountant revealed that they would all be saving money.
The single mother in North Carolina making less than $40,000 will save $1,300 in 2018. The married homeowning couple with no children in Rhode Island making $150,000 will save about $650. The business-owning couple with three children in California is set to save more than $13,000.
And those are just three out of the millions of examples of Americans who will benefit from tax reform.
But people are beginning to learn about the lies. In February, after just two months of implementing the tax cuts, the New York Times reported that the new tax law had boomed in popularity, with the majority now approving tax reform.
That change came about in large part because Americans saw more money in their paychecks because federal withholdings have gone down.
Here’s more good news: Tax cuts in 2018 were only one half of the benefits Americans are receiving from Republican tax reform. The other half is that tax reform is incentivizing businesses to grow and expand, hire more people and raise workers’ wages.
In my own 7th Congressional District, the owners of Landscape Supply, a small, family-owned business, told me that they were able to hire five more full-time employees and also offer their workers bonuses. Patrick, the CEO, credits this expansion and added compensation to the Republican tax reform bill.
This same story is repeated throughout the 7th District—and across the country.
More than 500 companies across the country are reportedly using their tax cut savings to give their employees higher pay, including some of Virginia’s biggest employers such as CarMax, Altria, Walmart, Lowe’s, Home Depot and AT&T.
Yet Democrats like Nancy Pelosi—who called the higher compensation “crumbs”—continue to push a narrative that these tax cuts won’t help businesses and individuals.
Let’s not forget that Pelosi herself praised an Obama-era bill that gave workers a $40 tax cut.
From the earliest days of the American Revolution, our nation has been founded upon resistance to exorbitant taxation. Americans were opposed to high taxes at the Boston Tea Party, and they are opposed to high taxes across the country today.
Editor's Note: This column was first published in the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star.