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Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) celebrate with fellow House Republicans following the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in the Rayburn Room at the U.S. Capitol November 16, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

As Tax Scam Turns One, Critics Say Law Is 'One of the Biggest Transfers of Wealth to Richest 1% in US History'

"A year later, we can safely say that Republicans' tax overhaul was a huge payoff to donors, and a scam for average Americans."

Jake Johnson

Massive corporations are "flush with leftover cash" and Wall Street banks are raking in enormous profits. CEOs and the wealthiest Americans are getting even richer. Average workers are seeing crumbs.

That is the state of the American economy on the one-year anniversary of the passage of the GOP's $1.5 trillion dollar tax scam, which Americans for Tax Fairness said on Tuesday will go down as "one of the biggest transfers of wealth to the richest one percent in U.S. history."

"The wealthiest Americans are richer now than they have ever been and are hoarding trillions of dollars."
—Patriotic Millionaires

Contrary to President Donald Trump's soaring promises and outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) characterization of the tax law as a tremendous victory for ordinary Americans in his newly released "docu-series," tax policy experts and progressives argued on the tax law's first birthday that the plan has done virtually nothing for the working class, while making the wealthiest Americans and largest corporations tremendously richer.

"Trump promised his tax cut would give families a $4,000 pay raise. This has not been the case, to put it lightly," Patriotic Millionaires declared in a blog post on Wednesday. "This isn't to say that last year's tax cuts have had zero effect. After all, the wealthiest Americans are richer now than they have ever been and are hoarding trillions of dollars."

"The rich are winning," Bloomberg added in its rundown of the tax law's impact during its first full year in effect.

As if to celebrate the anniversary of the tax plan's passage, massive corporations further rewarded wealthy shareholders this week by rolling out billions more in stock buybacks, bringing the total sum of buybacks this year over $1 trillion "for the first time ever."

"That's money that could have been invested in these companies' workers," Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) wrote of the record-shattering buybacks. "Instead, it went to those at the top."

According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), as the richest Americans have seen their fortunes grow exponentially thanks to the tax law, worker bonuses have risen just $0.02 in the year since the plan passed Congress last December.

Highlighting EPI's research, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) wrote on Twitter, "Trump promised that his tax giveaway to the wealthy would put an extra $4,000 into the pockets of middle-class families. He lied."

"Our job: Repeal Trump's tax breaks for the wealthy and rebuild the disappearing middle class," Sanders added.

Patriotic Millionaires agreed with Sanders, arguing that "there's only one way to right this wrong, and that's by repealing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and making our tax code fairer for those who work."

"A year later, we can safely say that Republicans' tax overhaul was a huge payoff to donors, and a scam for average Americans," the group concluded. "The economy is not better off because of it, and neither are millions of poor and middle-class families who desperately needed real, comprehensive tax relief."


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