The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Patriotic Millionaires Blast AAN $1 Million Ad Buy

"Maybe if the tax plan helped the American worker, you wouldn't have to buy such expensive ads"


Today, on the heels of the annoucement that the American Action Network is launching a $1 million ad buy promoting the Tax Cuts and Job Act in key districts across the nation, Morris Pearl, Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires and former managing director at BlackRock, released the following statement:

"Let's fact-check the statement from the American Action Network, they say: 'The district-specific ads highlight the middle-class tax cuts by the numbers: three million Americans receiving bonuses, fastest wage growth in eight years, and working families receiving a tax cut of $2,000.'

But on the contrary:

  • 3 million working Americans received bonuses after the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. However, there are roughly 150 million people in the American workforce, that means that 98% of American workers did not see a bonus after the tax cut.
  • Faster wage growth? I'd be interested in seeing what businesses they are claiming raised wages as a result of the tax bill. At the end of the day, let's not forget that the federal minimum wage has not been raised since 2009, when it was raised to $7.25 an hour. And due to inflation, it's actually arguable that those workers making the federal minimum wage have actually seen a pay decrease.
  • And finally, the claim that working families are receiving a tax cut of $2,000? Absurd. The GOP wants to claim that the final changes to the Child Tax Credit allow for low-income working families to claim $2,000 per child, but the reality is much different. 10 million children under 17 in the lowest-income working families -- who already receive only a partial CTC or no credit at all -- will either receive no improvement in the credit or a token increase of $1 to $75. Others may receive more, but it is a far smaller slice of the pie than higher income families.

At the end of the day, if the Tax Cuts and Job Act was actually a piece of legislation that was ever created to help the middle class, maybe SuperPACs like the American Action Network wouldn't need to do $1 million ad buys to promote it. If working Americans had actually gotten a sizeable slice of the pie, they'd probably need less 'educating.'"

The Patriotic Millionaires is a group of high-net worth Americans who share a profound concern about the destabilizing level of inequality in America. Our work centers on the two things that matter most in a capitalist democracy: power and money. Our goal is to ensure that the country's political economy is structured to meet the needs of regular Americans, rather than just millionaires. We focus on three "first" principles: a highly progressive tax system, a livable minimum wage, and equal political representation for all citizens.

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