Most People Hate the Republican Tax Bill, but Not Everyone
The Republican tax bill is a major victory for Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and President Trump, no matter how you slice it. It’s the largest tax cut in decades, a major point of the Republican agenda that went through Congress as quickly and smoothly as any major legislation in recent memory. By most estimates, the majority of Americans will pay less taxes in the next few years while some of the wealthiest Americans will receive permanent cuts.
It’s not a major secret that the tax bill isn’t very popular. People of all backgrounds, rich and poor, celebrity and CEO, have spoken out against what they view as nothing more than a massive transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class to the wealthy elite. But there are a few small pockets of people who really love this tax bill.
1. The Koch brothers
The billionaire Koch brothers invested millions of their money in Republican politicians to push for this tax reform, and they aren’t happy enough with the outcome just yet. The Kochs are set to spend millions more in an advertising campaign to attempt to garner more public support for the new law that will make them slightly richer. Their motivation is likely related to their support for so many Republican politicians, many of which face tough odds for re-election following the passage of the unpopular tax bill.
The brothers own the second-largest private company in the United States and are extremely outspoken with their pro-business, anti-worker ideals that include slashing taxes for corporations and the wealthy while crushing employee unions. The Koch brothers are also very good at avoiding taxes, reportedly hiding earnings in offshore tax havens.
2. Other GOP donors
The Koch brothers aren’t the only GOP donors that the Republicans in Congress had in mind when they were putting through legislation to cut corporate taxes by 42.8%. Representative Chris Collins (R-NY) had this to say when asked if his donors were happy with the tax bill.
“My donors are basically saying, ‘Get it done or don’t ever call me again,’” Collins replied.
“Every special interest is out in force … I’d say the more they come out, it’s an indication we’re doing a darn good job.”
Either you’re doing a darn good job, or it’s an indication that your donors know that they can control you with their money and saw an opportunity to influence policy. But who’s to say which is true?
3. Big banks
Donors aren’t the only ones who love this bill and will benefit greatly from it. Among those in corporate America, big banks such as Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase will see their profits go from billions of dollars to even more billions of dollars.
“It’s good for corporate America. It’s good for us,” Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America, said. “We are a taxpayer of high order, so we’ll get a benefit because we’re paying a lot of taxes today.”
According to BuzzFeed News, Bank of America recorded $5.6 billion in profit during the most recent quarter while paying an effective tax rate of 29%. JP Morgan Chase had $6.7 billion in profit in the most recent quarter, and CEO Jamie Dimon has been predictably supportive of the bill.
“This business confidence rests on the pro-growth economic agenda of policymakers,” Dimon said. “To continue this momentum, it is critical that we enact pro-growth tax reform that will level the playing field for U.S. business to be globally competitive.”
4. Other CEOs
As the stock prices and profits rise, CEOs will reap personal benefits as well. CEO salaries, already at an astronomical $13.8 million per year on average, will get a healthy bump thanks to the new tax bill. Wealthy CEOs such as Papa John’s John Schnatter and Whole Foods’ John Mackey lobbied hard for the repeal of Obamacare, and hidden inside the tax bill is the destruction of the individual mandate. That will cut insurance for a predicted 13 million Americans.
Not every CEO is in favor of this bill, however. Jack Bogle, the founder of Vanguard, has called the bill a “moral abomination.” But whether CEOs love or hate the bill, there is one item where they are largely in agreement. The trickle-down effect is not reality, with the vast majority of new gains going to shareholders, not employees.
5. Trump’s real estate friends
Shortly after signing the bill into law, President Trump went to his property in Mar-a-Lago and told wealthy friends and acquaintances that they “all just got richer.” That shouldn’t shock anyone because those who associate themselves with Trump largely stand to make a lot more money.
Real estate mogul Steve Witkoff, a personal friend of President Trump, believes that this bill being good for the wealthy will also make it good for the rest of the nation.
“I think you’ve got to create all those conditions that get the private sector to want to invest,” Witkoff tells Newsweek. “The president’s game plan is more growth. Let’s add several trillion more dollars of GDP, expand the tax net, lower the amount that you pay, but expand it … More tax revenue means we’re going to pay down the deficit.”
Unfortunately, most credible estimates show very little growth projected for the economy.
6. Democrat challengers in Congress
Although no Democrats in the House or the Senate voted in favor of tax reform, there are plenty of Dems that will benefit from the after-effects of this bill. Of course, there is the fact that many of them are part of the wealthy elite that will be positively impacted. But the Democrats could also benefit in a big way by the cratering public opinion of their Republican counterparts.
Support for the Republican party in America fell to an all-time low 29% this past September, according to a CNN poll. With several key battles in the Senate in 2018 and the victory of Alabama Democrat Doug Jones already under their belt, there is a serious chance that the tax bill could vault the minority party back in control of Congress.
7. James Woods
We’ll be honest, it was rough going trying to find celebrities that were publicly supportive of the tax bill. Well-known conservative actor James Woods shared his support on Twitter, via a screenshot from the Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life.
The majority of celebrities that have been outspoken on the tax bill have come out against it, including comedian Patton Oswalt, actress Alyssa Milano, actor and social media king George Takei, and actor Mark Ruffalo. It’s important to note that these people are extremely wealthy and stand to make a tremendous amount of money in the coming years, courtesy of Trump’s tax reform.
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