TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Monday, April 15, 2019

NY Times: Although Trump Cut Taxes For Most Americans, Democrats Convinced The Public That They Paid More Taxes

New York Times, Face It: You (Probably) Got a Tax Cut:

If you’re an American taxpayer, you probably got a tax cut last year. And there’s a good chance you don’t believe it.

Ever since President Trump signed the Republican-sponsored tax bill in December 2017, independent analyses have consistently found that a large majority of Americans would owe less because of the law. Preliminary data based on tax filings has shown the same.

Yet as the first tax filing season under the new law wraps up on Monday, taxpayers are skeptical. A survey conducted in early April for The New York Times by the online research platform SurveyMonkey found that just 40 percent of Americans believed they had received a tax cut under the law. Just 20 percent were certain they had done so. That’s consistent with previous polls finding that most Americans felt they hadn’t gotten a tax cut, and that a large minority thought their taxes had risen — though not even one in 10 households actually got a tax increase.

NY Times

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. ...

In convincing people that they would not benefit, “the Democrats did a very good job,” said Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center. “They were able to put that into the public perception, and the reality has been unable to break that perception.”

Experts are divided on whether the tax law was a good idea. But there is little disagreement on this core point: Most people got a tax cut. ...

Surveys consistently show that what bothers Americans most about the tax system is not that they pay too much but that they think corporations and the wealthy pay too little, said Vanessa Williamson, a political scientist at the Brookings Institution who studies public attitudes toward taxation. The tax law only sharpened those concerns. ...

Surveys consistently show that what bothers Americans most about the tax system is not that they pay too much but that they think corporations and the wealthy pay too little, said Vanessa Williamson, a political scientist at the Brookings Institution who studies public attitudes toward taxation. The tax law only sharpened those concerns.

NYT 2

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2019/04/ny-times-although-trump-cut-taxes-for-most-americans-democrats-convinced-the-public-that-they-paid-m.html

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Comments

If Demicrats knew anything at all about personal finances and money in general, then they wouldn't be Democrats.

Posted by: Diggs | Apr 16, 2019 3:36:25 AM

The Word for this is lying.

Posted by: Mike Livingston | Apr 16, 2019 4:07:44 AM

Messaging is easy when you have a partisan, lap-dog press running whatever the party spits out.

Posted by: Conor | Apr 16, 2019 6:27:56 AM

"Although Trump Cut Taxes For Most Americans, Democrats Convinced The Public That They Paid More Taxes."

Yes, by lying as usual. But they didn't convince a majority of Americans, as the SurveyMonkey results don't show the rest of the results in detail. No doubt small shares believed their taxes went up, or stayed the same, or weren't sure. Very conspicuous, those points being left out. I suspect the 40% of believe they got a tax cut represent the plurality.

Posted by: MM | Apr 16, 2019 6:32:10 PM