One question that might sway voter opinion in 2020 is this: Are you better off under Donald Trump’s “presidency?” Some might say yes while others say no, and then, there are those who either lie or cannot face the truth. The answer to that question has been sorted out for us by David Cay Johnston. He’s an investigative journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner. In the context of this piece, however, he utilizes his skills in economics and tax issues. Who else can give us a better answer?
Johnston looked at Trump’s 2017 tax law, and according to what he found, “the rich made out like bandits.” The initial data Johnston reviewed showed that the poor and working classes have dropped even lower than they already were and that the middle class is “treading water.” The upper-middle class and the richest are doing quite well. Johnston’s research goes way beyond just that.
For example, almost 87 million taxpayers earning under $50,000 per year earned $307 less than what they made in 2016. Johnston’s research, in fact, shows us that we were better off under President Obama, completely contradicting Trump’s claims that he created the “best economy ever” before the pandemic. Many already knew and acknowledged that Trump was merely riding Obama’s coattails; this revelation, then, comes as no surprise. This research further strikes down Trump’s claims that he is “champion of the forgotten man” and that his tax decisions “will be made to benefit American workers and American families.”
Not surprisingly, Trump’s tax cuts favored the top 7% of Americans. Johnston shared that over a half million wealthy are not even filing taxes, to the tune of $45.7 billion. Yet, the Trump administration wants to play around with our social security to make up the difference. People earning $200,000 or more have seen their incomes grow by a minimum of 20% while taxpayers making $10 million or more have increased their take to 37%.
Now, who is saving on taxes? You guessed it: upper income taxpayers while the working poor got virtually nothing, the middle class got such a small amount that it is virtually non-existent, and they want social security—a program many have been paying into for years—to make up the deficit. That is not going to happen. Further, upper income earners received an average tax reduction of $17,800. Think about that for a minute. The people who make the most money receive the best tax benefit. How is that fair? Further, how does that help “the forgotten man?”
We all knew that Trump’s tax cut for the wealthy would not benefit most of us, but we had no idea just how badly this law has impacted us. Choose to believe or not believe David Cay Johnston, but as he points out, “the major news organizations quote Trump’s claims and others’ challenges without citing details.” This is an especially important piece that we should all read and analyze for ourselves if for no other reason than to see just how badly we are being screwed by “president” Donald Trump.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years