Leaked Congressional Analysis Shows GOP Bill Raises Taxes on Millions of Americans

Thirty-eight percent of the country won’t get a noticeable tax break when the cuts kick in.

MichaelDeLeon/Getty

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

On Wednesday, a leaked analysis from Congress’ nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation showed that 38 percent of Americans would not get a significant tax cut in 2019 under the Senate tax bill. After the tax bill’s individual cuts expire in 2025, 84 percent of Americans would see their tax bills go up or change by less than $100.

The JCT analysis was obtained by the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal but has not been officially released. The estimate reinforces multiple studies showing that the wealthiest Americans would be the biggest winners under the House and Senate tax bills, despite Republicans’ repeated claims to the contrary. The Senate is currently debating the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and could pass the bill as soon as this week.

In selling their tax bill, Republicans have focused on the bill’s effects before the individual tax cuts expire at the end of 2025. Their justification is that Congress won’t actually let the individual cuts go away—essentially conceding that the $1.4 trillion tax bill relies on accounting gimmicks to mask its true cost. But there are no guarantees that future members of Congress will go along with the plan, especially when confronted with deficits exacerbated by the tax cut.

Either way, the new JCT numbers, which are generally considered authoritative by both Republicans and Democrats, show that the Senate tax bill creates millions of losers even before the individual cuts expire. In 2025, when the bill is in full effect, 57 percent of middle-class taxpayers would get a tax cut worth more than $500, while 12 percent would see their taxes stay roughly the same and 15 percent would pay higher taxes than they would under current law. 

The numbers are much starker after almost all the individual cuts end. There is, however, one exception that doesn’t expire. The bill would permanently switch to a new inflation measure that would gradually raise taxes by bumping Americans into higher tax brackets. That provision alone would raise taxes by $134 billion over the next 10 years, and at least $400 billion in the following decade.

In 2027, 26 percent of taxpayers that make between $50,000 and $75,000 would face higher tax bills, while another 59 percent would see their tax bills stay about the same. Only 5 percent of those families would get more than $500, but 56 percent of taxpayers who make more than $1 million per year would get at least a $500 tax cut.

The new analysis further debunks President Donald Trump’s promises that wealthy people would not benefit from his tax plan. At a rally in Missouri on Wednesday, Trump said the tax cut is “going to cost me a fortune, this thing—believe me.” As Mother Jones has written, Trump and his heirs are likely to pocket hundreds of millions of dollars, though it’s impossible to know without seeing the president’s tax returns.

At the rally, Trump said he was willing to pay more taxes out of a sense duty. “Me? I don’t care,” Trump said. “This is a higher calling.”

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate