The left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy and the nonprofit Prosperity Now have released a new report looking at who benefited the most from last year’s Republican tax cuts, and—surprise, surprise—it was white people. Specifically, it was rich-ass white people.
From the New York Times summary of the report:
White Americans earn about 77 percent of total income in the United States, but they are getting nearly 80 percent of the benefits of the individual and business tax cuts generated by the new law, the analysis found. African-Americans received about 5 percent of the benefits, despite earning 6 percent of the nation’s income. Latinos got about 7 percent, although their share of all income is 8 percent.In total, the analysis estimates, whites will get about $218 billion in tax cuts this year as a result of the law. Black and Latino Americans will get about $32 billion combined.
As the report notes, just 1.2 percent of white families earn enough to be in the top 1 percent of income earners, but that’s three times as much as black and Latinx families (0.4 percent). On average, white households will receive over $2,000 in tax cuts this year, while Latinx families will receive $970 and black families will receive $840.
We have, of course, known this since before the plan was even passed. Aspects of the bill, like raising the estate tax threshold, slashing corporate tax rates when CEOs were already open about their plans to hoard the extra cash, and limiting state and local tax deductions were not meant to help poor, or working class, or even middle class people, but those at the top.
Case in point: Donald Trump himself. In a separate report released on Tuesday, the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) found a loophole in the new tax bill that could allow Trump to “make some of his foreign income functionally tax-free.” CREW explains (emphasis mine):
President Trump has numerous foreign-based entities, such as DJ Aerospace Limited incorporated in Bermuda, Turnberry Scotland LLC incorporated in Turnberry, Scotland, TIGL Ireland Enterprises Limited incorporated in Doonbeg, Ireland, and THC Barra Hotelaria TLDA incorporated in Brazil, are likely Subchapter S Corporations, which means that this loophole will almost certainly directly benefit him.
This new loophole allows shareholders of pass-through entities to pay zero tax indefinitely on their foreign income. This is even more generous than the terms afforded to Subchapter C Corporations, the corporate form commonly used by publicly traded companies, whose income is taxed at the corporate level. Under the new tax bill, C Corporations receive a not-too-stingy eight years to spread out the tax liability for foreign income.
At best, this constitutes an indefinite, interest-free loan to people with foreign income from S Corporations. At worst, this constitutes a complete giveaway. Because the IRS cannot collect tax until far in the future, there is no legal mechanism to stop the shareholder from depleting their assets before the tax bill becomes due. And, even if the shareholder still has funds, other creditors may have a superior claim to those funds than the taxing authorities do. Even under the best of circumstances, the passage of time makes it difficult to collect debts.
Now that we have some more hard data showing just how much of a fucking scam all of this was, it’ll surely stop Congress from ever doing anything like this again. Right?