Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

"The GOP tax scam showered tax breaks on the rich, corporations, and CEOs, leaving working families with the bill," tweeted Americans for Tax Fairness. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

On Tax Day, Still 'No Evidence' Trump Tax Cuts Are Trickling Down to Workers

"If you're curious where the promised $4,000 raise from the GOP tax cut went, look no further than the bank accounts of the wealthiest Americans."

Jake Johnson

Wall Street banks, pharmaceutical companies, and corporate CEOs have a lot to celebrate on Tax Day thanks to President Donald Trump and the Republican Party.

The vast majority of workers, not so much.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, most U.S. workers have seen little to no benefit from the GOP's $1.5 trillion Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

"Trump promised that corporations would use their tax cuts to give working families a $4,000 pay raise. It's Tax Day 2019… Did you get that $4,000?"
—Americans for Tax Fairness

"It's Tax Day again, and there's still no reason to believe the Republicans' corporate tax cuts are doing anything for working people," Hunter Blair, a budget researcher with EPI, wrote in an analysis Monday. "With a year's worth of data in, the story remains the same—there's no evidence the corporate tax cuts in the TCJA have trickled down to workers."

"The TCJA is set to exacerbate decades of rising economic inequality," said Blair. "The bill blew apart the individual and corporate tax codes with egregious new loopholes tailor made for the rich and big corporations."

"And the data offers no reason to think any of this will start trickling down to typical workers," Blair added.

Lawrence Mishel, a distinguished fellow at EPI, added in a blog post Monday that the average worker bonus in 2018 "was just $0.01 higher than in 2017."

"This is not what the tax cutters promised, or bragged about soon after the tax bill passed," wrote Mishel. "They claimed that their bill would raise the wages of rank-and-file workers, with congressional Republicans and members of the Trump administration promising raises of many thousands of dollars within 10 years."

"The White House contention that corporate tax cut-inspired widespread provision of bonuses that led to greater paychecks through bonuses or wage increases for workers is not supported by the BLS Employer Costs for Employee Compensation data," Mishel concluded.

EPI's assessment of the tax law comes as Trump is set to embark on a week-long tour to tout his signature legislative achievement, which polls show is still extremely unpopular.

"As Americans rush Monday to finish up their own taxes, their judgment on Trump's beloved tax cut bill is pretty clear: Most really don't like it," Politico reported Monday. "A Pew Research Center survey conducted last month found that 36 percent of Americans approve of the tax cut law while 49 percent disapprove. Even the number of Republicans who strongly approve of the law dipped in the latest Pew survey."

"One reason many Americans don't feel the tax cut: The most dramatic benefit was aimed at slashing the corporate tax rate," Politico added.

As Common Dreams reported last Thursday, the number of big companies that paid nothing in federal taxes doubled in 2018 thanks to the tax law, which slashed the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.

On Twitter, progressive advocacy groups used Tax Day to highlight the extent to which the Republican law has rewarded the ultra-rich and massive corporations, while leaving most workers with crumbs.

According to a Hill-HarrisX poll released Monday, just 18 percent of Americans say they are paying less in taxes under Trump's law.

Patriotic Millionaires—a group of rich Americans that launched a campaign last week calling for higher taxes on the wealthy—added, "If you're curious where the promised $4,000 raise from the GOP tax cut went, look no further than the bank accounts of the wealthiest Americans."

"It wasn't a middle class tax cut," the group concluded, "it was a scam."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Dems Sound Alarm as Key US Vaccine Agency 'Running Out of Money'

"We cannot afford to waste another moment and risk the emergence of yet another, even more dangerous variant," Democratic lawmakers write in a new letter.

Jake Johnson ·


UN Officials Warn of 'Record-Shattering Month' for Civilian Deaths in Yemen

Following deadly strikes by the Saudi-led coalition, Oxfam is calling on the U.N. Security Council to condemn attacks on Yemenis and to "inject new urgency" into peace talks.

Jessica Corbett ·


Experts Say Nuclear Energy as Climate Solution Is Total 'Fiction'

"The reality is nuclear is neither clean, safe, or smart; but a very complex technology with the potential to cause significant harm."

Jessica Corbett ·


Air and Water Under Threat as SCOTUS Targets Environmental Laws

"It seems like we have a new conservative supermajority on the court that is much more inclined to do a slash-and-burn expedition through our major environmental laws."

Julia Conley ·


'Historic Turning Point': Cuba Issues Plan for Vaccine Internationalism

"This lifesaving package," said the head of Progressive International's delegation to Cuba, exemplifies public health and science being "placed above private profit and petty nationalism."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo