One of the long-time dreams of Republicans was to overhaul the tax code. They finally got their chance to do so in 2017, and rushed it through Congress. It cut the tax rate for businesses and they made a big show of how much more people would get in their paychecks, now that all those terrible tax dollars the “Tax and Spend” Democrats were wasting. Even though various economists, tax experts, and, of course, Democrats, were pointing out that the cuts for businesses weren’t needed, and that the economy didn’t need stimulus, it didn’t matter. They rushed it through, and tried desperately to run on it in the 2018 election, to avoid being tied to an increasingly unpopular President.
It was popular with Republican areas. They’re all under the unshakable belief that they pay more in taxes than they should (they don’t), and the media narrative tended to focus on the impacts in higher taxed, higher cost states – which happen to be Democratic states. So to them it had the benefit of “sticking it to the libs.”
So what happened? Well, businesses took the huge tax savings and gave a few well-publicized bonuses to their workers, which amounted to a small fraction of the sudden windfall. A much greater fraction was handed out in bonuses to the executives. The majority of it? It was used for stock buy-backs (at a high stock price), and the rest was moved out of the country. In short, it wasn’t used to increase hiring, build new plants, or expand their business. That didn’t seem to concern the Republican voters, though.
It wasn’t until this year that the other shoe dropped. You see, the tax bill didn’t just cut taxes for businesses. It changed the withholding rules, which made it seem like there was a tax cut to your check. It also changed how much, and what, you could deduct from your taxes. Which a lot of early filers are finding out means they’re getting much smaller refunds, no refund, or even owing taxes. This isn’t going to improve, as more people file their taxes. Needless to say, they’re pissed.
While Trump’s tax plan benefits banks and corporations, middle-class filers are finding that they’re receiving significantly less than expected due to newly-reduced income brackets.
After being slapped in the face and realizing they’ve been had, the middle-class pro-Trumpers are taking to Twitter and sounding off on getting screwed over.
I noticed that I got a smaller refund this year, but my Twitter feed and several of the sites I frequent blew up with people screaming about how much they they were going to have to come up with to pay the extra taxes, where they used to get a refund. Quite a few found that deductions they used to think were normal were suddenly not allowed.
Here’s what I consider … interesting about the fury of Republican voters about this. They weren’t upset about the Russian interference in our elections. They weren’t upset about the corruption in this administration. They’ve remained steadfast in their loyalty despite a trade war ruining livelihoods, an unnecessary government shutdown, and a host of other issues that would have ruined any other administration. But now? Now we have their attention.
Here’s my message to them: You voted for this. No, really, you did. You have walked into the voting booth for the past several election cycles and reliably voted for Republicans. Despite every warning, despite all the evidence that the Republican Party was not going to look out for your interests, you still did it. So when you’re firing off recriminations, remember to look in the mirror and see who made this possible: You. You, and millions of other voters just like you. You thought it would be “someone else” who got hurt, not you. Remember that in 2020, when you think of voting Republican again. If you do? Well, I won’t waste any sympathy on you. I’m saving it for the people who voted for Democrats, and are suffering like you.