Mary Margaret Olohan, DCNF
Fewer than one in ten American taxpayers got a tax increase this year, but a New York Times survey reveals that many Americans believe they did not get tax cuts because of Democratic misrepresentation.
The New York Times conducted a survey through Survey Monkey in early April that found that 40 percent of Americans believed they had received a tax cut while only 20 percent definitively believed they had received a tax cut.
“The vast majority of people did get a tax cut,” said H&R Block’s Tax Institute analyst Nathan Rigney to The New York Times, “just now we have real data to back that up.”
"To a large degree, the gap between perception and reality on the tax cuts appears to flow from a sustained — and misleading — effort by liberal opponents of the law to brand it as a broad middle-class tax increase. … The messaging stuck." https://t.co/ialTx1gPXP
— Walter Olson (@walterolson) April 15, 2019
Though the Tax Policy Center predicted that few middle-class taxpayers would receive tax increases because of this Republican legislation, Democrats chose to emphasize other predictions that middle class taxpayers would receive tax increases in 2026. This caused almost two-thirds of Americans and three-quarters of Democrats to believe they would not receive tax cuts in 2017, numbers which have hardly changed in this month’s NYT survey.
While many experts are divided on the tax legislation, the majority agree that most American incomes received tax cuts. Numbers from the Tax Policy Center show that 65 percent of Americans paid less, only six percent of Americans paid more, and the rest saw little variation.
Senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center Howard Gleckman said that the Democrats did a very good job at convicing Americans they would not benefit. “They were able to put that into the public perception, and the reality has been unable to break that perception,” Gleckman told the New York Times.
Karlyn Bowman, an analyst at the American Enterprise Institute, told Politico that Republicans have “lost the edge” they once enjoyed as the party “best able to handle taxes.”
“Democrats seem to be making headway by hammering away at the rich not paying enough,” Bowman told Politico.
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