FACT CHECK: Trump Celebrates Tax Anniversary With More Lies
June 29, 2018
Today Trump celebrated the six month anniversary of the Trump tax law. Fittingly, as we have seen over the course of his presidency, his speech and the White House’s “fact” sheet included numerous lies. Here’s the truth:
LIE: “The share of small businesses raising benefits and pay is at an all time record.”
FACT: Wages, adjusted for higher costs of living, have not gone up since the Trump tax law passed.
Washington Post: “On Tuesday, the BLS released a sobering report: Year-over-year, the real average hourly earnings number has dropped by 0.1 percent. After the recession, that figure has generally increased. Over the past year, though, it has been flat — despite the signing of that bill in December. The tax bill, which Trump promised would serve as ‘rocket fuel’ for the economy, hasn’t led to any liftoff whatsoever in real average hourly earnings. Since December, the number hasn’t gone up; year over year, it hasn’t gone up.”
LIE: “It’s my great honor to welcome you back to the White House to celebrate six months of new jobs, bigger paychecks, and keeping more of your hard-earned money.”
FACT: Median weekly real wages are lower than when Trump took office.
PolitiFact: “Wages have been climbing with occasional blips through Barack Obama’s second term. Median weekly earnings hit their post-Great Recession low in the second quarter of 2014, at $330 (that’s for full-time wage and salary workers). They climbed to $351 as Obama was leaving office — a 6.4 percent increase over about three years. The most recent data under Trump, for the first quarter of 2018, shows it at $350, or slightly below where it was when Obama handed over the reins to Trump.”
LIE: “What’s happening is our economy is so good, our unemployment is so low, and our employment is so high — maybe that’s an even nicer way of saying it.”
FACT: Job growth has not picked up at all as a result of the Trump tax law.
PolitiFact: “That said, the number of new jobs gained since passage of the Republican-backed tax bill in December 2017 is pretty similar in scale to those racked up by both President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump going back to 2010.”
New York Times: “The new corporate tax cuts are unlikely to stimulate the level of job creation and wage growth that the Trump administration has promised, a trio of prominent economists has concluded, because high tax rates were not pushing much investment out of the United States in the first place.”
LIE: “Just 6 months after President Donald J. Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law, the American economy is booming.”
FACT: Economic growth last quarter was only 2 percent.
Wall Street Journal: “Economic growth was slower at the beginning of this year than the government previously reported, as consumers pulled back spending and the housing market weighed down output. Gross domestic product, a broad measure of the goods and services produced across the U.S., expanded at a seasonally and inflation-adjusted annual rate of 2% in the first quarter, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. That was weaker than an earlier estimate of 2.2% growth.”
LIE: “The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act slashed income taxes all across the board.”
FACT: The Trump tax law will actually increase taxes on average for the middle class by the end of the decade.
Tax Policy Center: “On average, in 2027 taxes would change little for lower-and middle-income groups and decrease for higher-income groups. Compared to current law, 5 percent of taxpayers would pay more tax in 2018, 9 percent in 2025, and 53 percent in 2027.”
Wall Street Journal: “By 2027, however, these households would get a net tax increase, because tax cuts are set to expire under the proposed law. The calculations are based on JCT estimates of cuts going to households that earn $20,000 to $100,000 a year in wages, dividends and benefits. Those households account for about half of all U.S. tax filers, with nearly a quarter making more and a quarter making less.”
LIE: “We greatly reduced the burden of the unfair estate tax, commonly known as the 'death tax.’”
FACT: Republican changes to the estate tax only benefited the wealthiest 0.2 percent of estates, worth more than $5.5 million.
CNN Money: “Even if the old exemption levels remained in place — at $5.5 million per person ($11 million if married) — fewer than 11,500 estates would have to file an estate tax return, and of those only 5,500 or so would end up owing any tax at all, according to estimates from the Tax Policy Center.”
New York Times: “Who’d Gain From An Estate Tax Rollback: The 0.2 Percenters”
LIE: “American workers and families have seen some of the biggest benefits from President Trump’s tax cuts.”
FACT: Most americans say they haven’t seen any increase in their paycheck from the Trump tax law.
Politico: “Only 25 percent of voters said they had noticed an increase in their paychecks as a result of the law, while 52 percent said they hadn’t. In the April poll, 22 percent said they had seen an increase and 55 percent said they hadn’t.”
FACT: The Trump tax law has fueled a windfall for investors and CEOs, not workers.
NBC News: “The Republican tax reform package that was supposed to raise wages and spur hiring has instead funded a record stock buyback and dividend spree, benefiting investors and company executives over workers.”
NBC News: “What Did Corporate America Do With That Tax Break? Buy Record Amounts Of Its Own Stock”
CNN Money: “Executives Are Cashing In On The Explosion In Stock Buybacks”