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6 Months Later: A Story Of Success

- June 22, 2018

In 6 Short Months The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act Has Delivered Tax Cuts To Hardworking Americans, Helped Small Business Soar And Jumpstarted Job Growth

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TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • The GOP Tax Cuts & Jobs Act provided tax relief to middle-class Americans - 82 percent will see a tax cut in 2018, and lower middle-class earners will see the largest cut.
  • Job growth has accelerated since the GOP tax cuts passed in late December, adding 1,037,000 jobs in the first 5 months of 2018, compared to 862,000 during the same period in 2017.

o The largest gainers have been "groups that have historically suffered from stubbornly high levels of unemployment, including younger workers, black workers and so-called marginally attached worker."

  • Manufacturing businesses "continue to experience highly elevated levels of activity as a result of pro-growth policies like tax reform," and in the latest manufacturers' outlook survey, 95.1 percent of manufacturers had a "positive outlook for their company," the highest level in the survey's history.
  • The bill increases the refundable portion of the Child Tax Credit, making the bill "more generous" to lower income families who don't make enough to pay income taxes and therefore cannot benefit from the deduction.
  • Small businesses have thrived in the wake of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index has increased to the second highest level in the survey's 45-year history in May.

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THE GOP TAX CUT DELIVERED MUCH NEEDED TAX RELIEF TO LOWER AND MIDDLE-CLASS AMERICANS

82 Percent Of Middle-Income Americans Will See A Tax Cut In 2018

82 Percent Of Middle-Income Americans Will See A Tax Cut In 2018. "In the middle income-quintile, 82 percent will receive a tax cut and 9 percent will have a tax increase." (Frank Sammartino, Philip Stallworth, and David Weiner, "The Effect Of The TCJA Individual Income Tax Provisions Across Income Groups And Across The States," Tax Policy Center , 3/28/18)

Lower-Middle-Class Households Would See The Largest Tax Cut As A Percentage Of Their Income. "The Republican tax plan would lead to tax cuts for all income groups in 2019, with the lower-middle-class households receiving the largest tax reductions on a percentage basis but upper-income households receiving the most money." (Siobhan Hughes, "Government Analysis Shows 8% Overall Tax Cut In 2019 Under GOP Plan," The Wall Street Journal , 12/18/17)

The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Will Reduce Individual Income Taxes By An Average Of $1,260 In 2018. "We estimate that the TCJA will reduce individual income taxes by about $1,260 on average in 2018, increasing after-tax incomes 1.7 percent (table 1). Taxes will decline on average across all income groups." (Frank Sammartino, Philip Stallworth, and David Weiner, "The Effect Of The TCJA Individual Income Tax Provisions Across Income Groups And Across The States," Tax Policy Center , 3/28/18)

In 2018, Just Under 65 Percent Of Taxpayers Will Receive A Tax Cut From The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Averaging About $2,200. "We estimate that in 2018, just under 65 percent of taxpayers will receive a tax cut from the included individual income tax provisions-averaging about $2,200-and about 6 percent will see an average tax increase of about $2,800 (table 2)." (Frank Sammartino, Philip Stallworth, and David Weiner, "The Effect Of The TCJA Individual Income Tax Provisions Across Income Groups And Across The States," Tax Policy Center , 3/28/18)

A Tax Foundation Study Found That "The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Would Increase The After-Tax Incomes Of Taxpayers In Every Taxpayer Group In 2018." "On a static basis, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would increase the after-tax incomes of taxpayers in every taxpayer group in 2018. The bottom 80 percent of taxpayers (those in the bottom four quintiles) would see an average increase in after-tax income ranging from 0.8 to 1.7 percent. Taxpayers in the top 1 percent would see an increase in after-tax income on a static basis of 1.6 percent, driven by the lower pass-through tax rate and the lower corporate income tax." ("Preliminary Details And Analysis Of The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act," Tax Foundation , 12/18/17)

The Tax Policy Center Found That In 2018, Taxes Would Decline On Average Across All Income Groups." "In 2018, taxes would be reduced by about $1,600 on average, increasing after-tax incomes 2.2 percent (table 1). Taxes would decline on average across all income groups. Taxpayers in the bottom quintile (those with income less than $25,000) would see an average tax cut of $60, or 0.4 percent of after-tax income. Taxpayers in the middle income quintile (those with income between about $49,000 and $86,000) would receive an average tax cut of about $900, or 1.6 percent of after-tax income." ("Distributional Analysis Of The Conference Agreement For The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act," Tax Policy Center , 12/19/17)

The Bill Increases The Refundable Portion Of The Child Tax Credit Making The Bill "More Generous" To Lower Income Families Who Don't Make Enough To Pay Income Taxes And Therefore Cannot Benefit From The Deduction

The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Increased The Maximum Refundable Portion Of The Credit From $1,100 To $1,400. "The maximum refundable portion of the credit increased from $1,100 to $1,400." (Elaine Maag, "The TCJA Will Help Families With Children, But High Income Households Will Get Much Of The Benefit," The Tax Policy Center , 12/22/17)

  • The Bill Expanded The Refundable Portion Of The Child Tax Credit, Meaning That Families That Don't Earn Enough To Owe Federal Income Tax Will Receive A Check From The Government For Up To $1,400 . "It also makes more of the tax credit refundable, meaning families that work but don't earn enough to actually owe any federal income taxes will get a large check back from the government. Benefits for those families were initially limited to about $1,100, but through changes Rubio and Lee pushed for, it's now up to $1,400." (Heather Long, "The Final GOP Tax Bill Is Complete. Here's What Is In It," The Washington Post , 12/15/17)

Samuel Hammond, A Poverty Expert At The Niskanen Center, Said That The Increased Refund "Could Make A Big Difference To Those Earning Under $40,000 A Year." "An average annual tax refund increase of $300 could make a big difference to those earning under $40,000 a year, Hammond said. 'That's the annual cost for diapers for a lot of households. It's not insignificant for a lot of very poor families,' Hammond said. 'People are expecting miracles from a very weak bargaining position. If Rubio hadn't done this, we would have wound up with nothing.'" (Jeff Stein, "What Marco Rubio Got For His Tax Vote," The Washington Post , 12/19/17)

The Bill Makes The Child Tax Credit "More Generous For Low-Income Families." "Thanks to a late push by Rubio and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), the child tax credit would be more generous for low-income families and the working class." (Heather Long, "The Final GOP Tax Bill Is Complete. Here's What Is In It," The Washington Post , 12/15/17)

Despite Democratic Rhetoric Suggesting Otherwise, The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Makes The Tax Code More Progressive

Thanks To The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act, Lower Income Earners Pay A Smaller Share Of The Overall Tax Burden. "If the legislation is enacted, higher earners will pay an even larger share of the overall income tax burden than they do now. Our highly 'progressive' income tax will be even more progressive. That approach is counter to sound fiscal governance and undermines the growth potential of tax reform, but that is what Republicans are delivering." (Chris Edwards, "Final Tax Bill: Biggest Cuts For The Middle," Cato Institute , 12/19/17)

In 2017, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Claimed That "In My Long Career In Politics, I Have Not Seen A More Regressive Piece Of Legislation." "In my long career in politics, I have not seen a more regressive piece of legislation, so devoid of a rationale, so ill-suited for the condition of the country, so removed from the reality of what the American people need." (Sen. Chuck Schumer, Remarks On The Senate Floor , Washington, DC, 12/1/17)

In 2018, Under The Law's New Tax Structure, The Top 20 Percent Of Households Will Pay 87 Percent Of Income Taxes Compared To 84 Percent Under The Old Law. "The results show how steeply progressive the U.S. income tax remains. For 2018, households in the top 20% will have income of about $150,000 or more and 52% of total income, about the same as in 2017. But they will pay about 87% of income taxes, up from about 84% last year." (Laura Saunders, "Top 20% Of Americans Will Pay 87% Of Income Tax," The Wall Street Journal , 4/6/18)

  • The Lower 60 Percent Of Households Will Pay No Net Federal Income Tax In 2018 Compared To Just 2 Percent Last Year . "By contrast, the lower 60% of households, who have income up to about $86,000, receive about 27% of income. As a group, this tier will pay no net federal income tax in 2018 vs. 2% of it last year." (Laura Saunders, "Top 20% Of Americans Will Pay 87% Of Income Tax," The Wall Street Journal , 4/6/18)

THE GOP TAX CUTS HAVE HELPED SMALL BUSINESSES SOAR

The GOP Tax Cuts Eased The Substantial Burden Taxes Put On Small Businesses

Before The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act, The Number One Concern Of Small Business Owners In America Was Taxes. "Taxes are the No. 1 concern of small-business owners, according to the first CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey, released on Friday. A quarter of small-business owners said that taxes are the most critical issue currently facing their businesses." (Elaine Pofeldt, "Most Entrepreneurs Are Optimistic Trump Will Rewrite Tax Code That 'Strangles Them,'" CNBC , 9/9/17)

Ninety-Five Percent Of Businesses Are "Pass-Through" Businesses Rather Than Corporations; These Businesses Are Not Subject To The Corporate Tax Rate, Their Income Passes Through To The Owners And Is Taxed At Their Individual Income Tax Rate. "The overwhelming majority of businesses in the U.S. are not C-corporations subject to the corporate tax. Rather, most businesses-about 95 percent-are 'pass-throughs,' which have their income 'pass through' to their owners to be taxed under the individual income tax." (Aaron Krupkin and Adam Looney, "9 Facts About Pass-Through Businesses," Brookings , 5/15/17)

Pass Through Corporations Received A 20 Percent Tax Cut From The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act, And, To Avoid Fraud, Service Businesses Such As Doctors, Lawyers, And Investment Offices Can Only Take A 20 Percent Deduction If They Make Less Than 315,000 Filing Jointly. "In 'Pass through' companies get a 20 percent reduction: Most American businesses are organized as 'pass through' companies in which the income from the business is 'passed through' to the business owner's individual tax return. S corporations, LLCs, partnerships and sole proprietorships are all examples of pass-through businesses. In the final GOP bill, the majority of these companies get to deduct 20 percent of their income tax-free, a large reduction that mirrors what was in the Senate bill. The changes, however, expire after 2025. The National Federation of Independent Business initially opposed the House version, arguing that it didn't do enough for small businesses. But the NFIB later endorsed the House and Senate plans. Service businesses such as law firms, doctor's offices and investment offices can take only the 20 percent deduction if they make up to $315,000 (for married couples)." (Heather Long, "The Final GOP Tax Bill Is Complete. Here's What Is In It," The Washington Post , 12/15/17)

Rob Hassett, An Attorney At Business Law Partners Said, In 2018 "Small Businesses Will Almost All See Their Taxes Decrease." "But, at least this year, small businesses will almost all see their taxes decrease, said Rob Hassett, an attorney at Business Law Partners - a change that could strengthen congressional Republicans going into the 2018 midterms. (Hannah Grabenstein, "Will Small Businesses Benefit From The New Tax Law?," PBS , 2/27/18)

Small Businesses Have Thrived In The Wake Of The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index "Increased In May To The Second Highest Level In The NFIB Survey's 45-Year History." "The Small Business Optimism Index increased in May to the second highest level in the NFIB survey's 45-year history. The index rose to 107.8, a three-point gain, with small businesses reporting high numbers in several key areas including compensation, profits, and sales trends." ("Small Business Optimism Index Soars, Continuing Historic Run, Hitting Several Records In May," National Federation Of Independent Business , 5/18)

Nearly 20 Percent Of Small Businesses Are Looking To Create New Jobs, While 29 Percent Have Job Openings For Skilled Workers. "Small business owners continue to hire with a seasonally-adjusted net 18 percent planning to create new jobs. Twenty-nine percent of owners have job openings for skilled workers, the third highest reading since 2000. Twelve percent have job openings for unskilled workers, with the strongest demand in the transportation, travel, communications, and utilities sector. To compete in the job market, 35 percent of owners reported increases in labor compensation to attract job applicants." ("Small Business Optimism Index Soars, Continuing Historic Run, Hitting Several Records In May," National Federation Of Independent Business , 5/18)

Worker Compensation For Small Businesses Was At A "Record Net 35 Percent Of All Firms" In May. "Reports of higher worker compensation pushed 2 points higher to a record net 35 percent of all firms. Plans to raise compensation fell 1 point to a net 20 percent, high but below its recent peak of 24 percent in January." ("Small Business Optimism Index Soars, Continuing Historic Run, Hitting Several Records In May," National Federation Of Independent Business , 5/18)

In March 2018, Just Three Months After GOP Tax Cuts Passed, The Number Of Business Owners That Rated Taxes As Their Number One Business Problem Fell To A 35 Year Low. "'It has been a remarkable 16 months for small business optimism,' said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. 'This is the first time in 35 years where the fewest number of small business owners have told us that taxes are their number one business problem. They've been so optimistic that they feel confident enough to raise wages and invest in their business, which grows the economy.'" ("Small Business Optimism Index Soars, Continuing Historic Run, Hitting Several Records In May," National Federation Of Independent Business , 5/18)

THE GOP TAX CUTS HAVE SPURRED JOB CREATION ALL OVER THE COUNTRY

Job Growth Across The Nation Has Accelerated In The Wake Of The GOP Tax Cuts

For The First Time In At Least 20 Years, There Are More Job Openings Than Workers Looking For Jobs. "For the first time in at least 20 years, there are now more job openings than there are people looking for work. The ratio of unemployed workers to job openings dropped below one in April for the first time since the Labor Department started collecting data in 2000, the agency reported Tuesday." (Lydia Depillis, "There Are Now More Job Openings Than Workers To Fill Them," CNN , 6/5/18)

National Job Growth Has Accelerated Since The GOP Tax Cuts Passed In Late December, With 1,037,000 Jobs Added In The First 5 Months Of 2018, Compared To 862,000 During The Same Period In 2017. ("Employment, Hours, and Earnings from the Current Employment Statistics survey (National)," Bureau Of Labor Statistics , Accessed 6/21/18)

The Largest Gains In Job Growth Have Gone To "Groups That Have Historically Suffered From Stubbornly High Levels Of Unemployment, Including Younger Workers, Black Workers And So-Called Marginally Attached Worker." "Most troubling for Democrats is that the biggest job gainers have been groups that have historically suffered from stubbornly high levels of unemployment, including younger workers, black workers and so-called marginally attached workers, whose employment is tracked by the BLS with the so-called U-6 rate. That measure includes part-time workers who want a full-time job and people who want to work but have given up looking and aren't in the official count of the labor force." (John W. Schoen, "The May Jobs Report Is Great News For Everyone - Except Democrats Running For Office," CNBC , 6/1/18)

Manufacturing Is Booming On The Back Of Pro-Growth Policies Like The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act

In The Latest Manufacturers' Outlook Survey, 95.1 Percent Of Manufacturers Had A "Positive Outlook For Their Company," The Highest Level Recorded In The Survey's History. "According to the latest Manufacturers' Outlook Survey, an astounding 95.1 percent of manufacturers registered a positive outlook for their company, the highest level recorded in the survey's 20-year history. Additionally, expected growth for investments, hiring and wages is reaching historic highs." ("2018 Second Quarter Manufacturers' Outlook Survey," National Association Of Manufacturers , 6/20/18, Pg. 1)

It Is "Clear" That Manufacturing Businesses "Continue To Experience Highly Elevated Levels Of Activity As A Result Of Pro-Growth Policies Like Tax Reform." "In the latest Manufacturers' Outlook Survey from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), it is clear that businesses continue to experience highly elevated levels of activity as a result of pro-growth policies like tax reform" "("2018 Second Quarter Manufacturers' Outlook Survey," National Association Of Manufacturers , 6/20/18, Pg. 1)

The Expected Growth Rate For Manufacturing Sales Remained At Its Highest Level Since 1997 . "Expected Growth Rate for SALES Over the Next 12 Months ↑ 5.7% - remained the highest since 1997:4 (March: ↑ 5.7%)"("2018 Second Quarter Manufacturers' Outlook Survey," National Association Of Manufacturers , 6/20/18, Pg. 1)

The Expected Growth Rate For Full Time Manufacturing Employment Is At An All-Time High. "Expected Growth Rate for FULL-TIME EMPLOYMENT Over the Next 12 Months ↑ 3.1% - all-time high (March: ↑ 2.9%)."("2018 Second Quarter Manufacturers' Outlook Survey," National Association Of Manufacturers , 6/20/18, Pg. 1)

The Expected Growth Rate For Manufacturing Wages Is At The Highest Level Since 2001 . "Expected Growth Rate for EMPLOYEE WAGES Over the Next 12 Months ↑ 2.7% - highest since 2001:1 (March: ↑ 2.6%)." ("2018 Second Quarter Manufacturers' Outlook Survey," National Association Of Manufacturers , 6/20/18, Pg. 1)

THE TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT IS HELPING DISADVANTAGED AND LONG NEGLECTED COMMUNITIES GROW AND THRIVE

Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Designated "Opportunity Zones" In Economically Distressed Areas To Encourage Private Investment In These Underserved Areas

Opportunity Zones, Created By The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Are "Economically-Distressed Community Where New Investments, Under Certain Conditions, May Be Eligible For Preferential Tax Treatment." "Q. What is an Opportunity Zone? A. An Opportunity Zone is an economically-distressed community where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. Localities qualify as Opportunity Zones if they have been nominated for that designation by the state and that nomination has been certified by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury via his delegation authority to the Internal Revenue Service. Q. Who created Opportunity Zones? A. Opportunity Zones were added to the tax code by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on December 22, 2017." ("Opportunity Zones Frequently Asked Questions," Internal Revenue Service , Accessed 6/18/18)

Opportunity Zones Are Designed To Spur Economic Investment In Distressed Communities By Incentivizing Long Term Investment In Those Communities. "Q. What is the purpose of Opportunity Zones? A. Opportunity Zones are an economic development tool-that is, they are designed to spur economic development and job creation in distressed communities. Q. How do Opportunity Zones spur economic development? A. Opportunity Zones are designed to spur economic development by providing tax benefits to investors. First, investors can defer tax on any prior gains until the earlier of the date on which an investment is sold or exchanged, or December 31, 2026, so long as the gain is reinvested in a Qualified Opportunity Fund. Second, if the investor holds the investment in the Opportunity Fund for at least ten years, the investor would be eligible for an increase in basis equal to the fair market value of the investment on the date that the investment is sold or exchanged." ("Opportunity Zones Frequently Asked Questions," Internal Revenue Service , Accessed 6/18/18)

In The Few Months Since The Opportunity Zones Were Created, They Have Already Generated Significant Interest From Companies Looking To Invest

Just A Month After Opportunity Zones Were Approved In Arizona, There Has Been Interest From "A Wide Variety Of People And Corporations On How To Fully Use This New (And Really Fantastic) Tool" That Is A "Gift From The Federal Government." "In just the month since the federal government approved Gov. Ducey's suggested sites, we have collectively advised a wide variety of people and corporations on how to fully use this new (and really fantastic) tool. This ranges from the stock investor who has no property assets but intends to sell stock this year for a significant gain, to those who own property that is designated as an O Zone, and those who are selling property and want to invest their gains into an O Zone property to defer capital gains tax. Regardless of your political feelings about our current administration, we can all agree that this is a most rare gift from the federal government." (Jordan Rose and Jim Belfiore, "The Opportunity Zone Is A 'Rare Gift,'" East Valley Tribune , 6/4/18)

Montgomery County Maryland Could Get An Economic Boost Thanks To A New Federal Program. Fourteen Opportunity Zones Have Been Designated Throughout The County In An Effort To Spur Investment." "Montgomery County could get an economic boost thanks to a new federal program. Fourteen opportunity zones have been designated throughout the county in an effort to spur investment. The program was created under the tax bill that was passed last year. The state has nearly 150 opportunity zones. In Montgomery County, that includes parts of Rockville Pike, the Montgomery College Germantown campus, and downtown Wheaton. Many of the locations are near Metro stations." (Kylie Khan, "Opportunity Zones Spur Economic Growth," WDVM TV , 6/13/18)

In West Virginia, Parkersburg Mayor Tom Joyce Lauds The Opportunity Zones As "Another Tool That We And Our Development Partners Can Use To Attract Private Investment To The Community." "Two of the designated zones are in Parkersburg: from the downtown central business district north to Vienna and east along Seventh Street toward West Virginia 47. 'This is a great opportunity for the City of Parkersburg and greater Mid-Ohio Valley,' Parkersburg Mayor Tom Joyce said in a press release. 'It's another tool that we and our development partners can use to attract private investment to the community.'" (Evan Bevins, "Mid-Ohio Valley Features Six West Virginia Opportunity Zones," The Parkersburg News-Sentinel, 5/27/18)

Officials In Helena, Montana Are Hopeful Opportunity Zones Will Attract Investment That Is Otherwise Hard To Come By. "Business development groups say, in places like downtown Helena, it can be hard to attract investment. 'Getting access to capital - patient capital is what we would call it - is very difficult,' said Brian Obert, executive director of the Montana Business Assistance Connection. Obert is hopeful the creation of an 'Opportunity Zone' downtown can help change that." (Jonathon Ambarian, "Officials Optimistic About Opportunity Zone Designation For Downtown Helena," 9KXLH , 5/23/18)

In Florida Governor Rick Scott (R-FL) Is Hopeful That The "Zones Will Help Foster Continued Success In Our State By Bringing New Capital Investment And More Jobs." "The U.S. Treasury has approved Gov. Rick Scott's recommendation that seven census tracts in Escambia County be designated as 'Opportunity Zones', including Century and the immediately surrounding area. 'These Zones will help foster continued success in our state by bringing new capital investment and more jobs to areas in every Florida county,' according to the Governor's Office." ("Low Tax Opportunity Zones Approved For Escambia County, Including Century," Northescambia.Com , 6/18/18)

 


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