And The Winners Are …

I wrote a good bit about the republican’s tax cuts that would benefit mainly the wealthy back in 2017 when it was first passed into law.  Since then, I have only mentioned it in passing for the most part.  But today I would like to revisit the topic.  A lot of middle income wage earners are just now figuring out that it was not much more than a shell game whereby they saw a slight increase in their weekly pay, but at the end of the year, when it came time to file their taxes, they were left slack-jawed, wondering why, for the first time in decades, they owed money at year end.

If you have found yourself in that situation, take heart, for some people truly did receive a benefit from the 2017 tax cuts!  Companies like Amazon, Chevron, General Motors, Delta, Halliburton, and IBM paid NO income taxes for the year 2018!  Aren’t you happy?  Aren’t you dancing a jig?  According to the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), some 60 Fortune 500 corporations were highly profitable, yet paid no income tax, and in some cases even received rebates!

Take Netflix, for example.  The company earned $845 million, its highest profit ever, and paid not a single dime in income taxes.  In fact, they recorded a $22 million federal tax rebate.  Then there was Amazon who nearly doubled their pre-tax income from $5.6 billion in 2017 to $11.2 billion in 2018, yet paid $0 … that’s right Zero, Nada, Zilch … in income taxes. trump-tax-memeThe tax cuts for the wealthy in 2017 lowered the maximum corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% and allowed companies to write off the total cost of capital equipment in the year of purchase, rather than via a depreciation schedule over the course of the life of the equipment.  Look at the results for the top earning Fortune 500 companies …

Company

U.S. Income (millions)

Federal Tax (millions)

Effective Tax Rate

Amazon.com $10,835 –129 –1%
Delta Air Lines $5,073 –187 –4%
Chevron $4,547 –181 –4%
General Motors $4,320 –104 –2%
EOG Resources $4,067 –304 –7%
Occidental Petroleum $3,379 –23 –1%
Honeywell International $2,830 –21 –1%
Deere $2,152 –268 –12%
American Electric Power $1,943 –32 –2%
Principal Financial $1,641 –49 –3%
FirstEnergy $1,495 –16 –1%
Prudential Financial $1,440 –346 –24%
Xcel Energy $1,434 –34 –2%
Devon Energy $1,297 –14 –1%
DTE Energy $1,215 –17 –1%
Halliburton $1,082 –19 –2%
Netflix $856 –22 –3%
Whirlpool $717 –70 –10%
Eli Lilly $598 –54 –9%
IBM $500 –342 –68%
Goodyear Tire & Rubber $440 –15 –3%
Penske Automotive Group $393 –16 –4%
Aramark $315 –48 –15%
AECOM Technology $238 –122 –51%
Tech Data $203 –10 –5%
Performance Food Group $192 –9 –4%
Arrow Electronics $167 –12 –7%

Source: Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy                                            

Still feeling really good about that extra $20 on your weekly paycheck? Let’s take a look at your tax rates.  If you were single and earned between $38,701 and $82,500, your effective tax rate was 22%, or between $8,514 and $18,150.  Sure, you probably paid less if you had any deductible expenses, but still … look again at the chart above.

ITEP’s Five Things To Know on the One-Year Anniversary of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will substantially increase income, wealth, and racial inequality.
  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will continue to substantially increase the deficit.
  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is not significantly boosting growth or jobs.
  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act continues to be very unpopular.
  • Despite the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s lack of popularity and ill effects, many Republican lawmakers are calling for even more tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations.

Next time somebody tries to tell you that the 2017 tax cuts were to benefit the middle class, remember this post and tell them in your loudest voice:  HOGWASH!  And in case your blood pressure isn’t already through the roof, take a gander at this …Corporate tax cuts

59 thoughts on “And The Winners Are …

  1. I come speaking Heresy and even Blasphemy.
    You cannot have a complex nation without an inclusive and involved tax system. A simple low rate tax system allows the wealthy to keep more and ignores the various demands on low income families who need every penny and bigger tax breaks.
    What is needed is a detailed tax system administered by very well trained staff not just in the legalistic side but also in the empathetic side with the individual ordinary taxpayer who can not afford corporate tax lawyers.
    It is an investment which pays dividends.
    Back in the 1970s when the UK system was very detailed and reasonably well staffed it was deemed the most efficient tax collection system in the Western World about 2% spent on admin of every £ collected.
    And you needed taxes to run a country and anyone says otherwise is telling big fibs!
    (I’ll take my portable lectern aways now Jill)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Again I ask, aside from all that you have said above, who is profiting from the interest being paid on the deficit, and a new one–what interest rate is being charged on the deficit? Even if the American government took out not one penny of new debt, they could not afford the interest charged in a year on trillions of dollars in the deficit, not without the big coporations paying taxes. And who is the American government borrowing the initial amounts from? Who has that kind of money to loan? Can we say big corporations?
    America will be bankrupt within a few years, and the nation will then be officially owned by those corporations. And we already know how much they care about the little guy!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You nailed it Jill. Western culture has fed us a bunch of lies about prosperity and success. Even religion is jumping on the band wagon with its “prosperity theology”. Several sects are preaching that my poverty is a result of my defects. (I embrace my poverty as a blessing. It keeps me in tune with priorities.) Unfettered capitalism cannot help but be corrupt.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Larry! I will never forget televangelist Jim Bakker being interviewed, I believe it was Oprah who was doing the interview, and when asked how he justified his million dollar home and extravagant lifestyle said, “God wants me to have nice things.” I was appalled then, just as I am appalled at the very idea of “prosperity theology”. What ever happened to “vows of poverty”? There are those who use religion as a tool in order to meet their own goals. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have no words…..the dumpster fire continues. The MAGA’s will look at this and simply shrug their shoulders. Thanks Jill for the good work here. It shows us the fraud that HE is and the fraud that is the Republican Party. How can people vote for any Republican…ever?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Jeff! Agreed … the dumpster fire is, I fear, soon to turn into a raging inferno. The escalation of madness from the upper echelons is worrying, and I think will not stop on its own. As you say, his supporters are simply shrugging their shoulders, and that frustrates me more than anything. They are shallow … as long as their own little lives are going along fine & dandy, nothing and nobody else matters to them. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think it’s worse than that with his supporters. Beneath all the ignorance, the watching of only Fox, the less education of many of his cult and the religious extremism of many, is deep seated racism. Not racism of a violent nature, although those white supremacy and Nazi groups are certainly there, but everyday bigotry. It’s in what they say, a roll of the eye, a quote from their bible, a comment about “those people” etc. That is what I see as pervasive. Sometimes it’s even unconscious. They fear blacks, immigrants and gays because they know nothing about them and are totally unable to empathize or feel what it’s like to be them. Therefore they hate them. It’s subtle but it’s there. I see it all the time. They love trump because he justifies their racism and hate. He represents them.
        It’s unbelievable and getting more dangerous everyday.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I agree … at the root of it all is extreme ignorance. You hit the nail on the head when you said they fear all who are not exactly like them, for they no nothing about African-Americans, Latinos, Muslims, gays and the rest. That has always, sadly, been the case, but Trump and his gang of thugs has made it “okay” for them to express those fears in the form of hatred and violence. That is the danger, and you’re right … it is getting worse by the day.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Jill, on the good side, the tax law increased the standard deduction. On the bad side, capping the state and local tax deduction hurt many. Yet, the key was to make the big dogs happy.

    What frustrates me are three things. The subterfuge, adding to a debt problem and how little companies used this wind fall to invest in their businesses and enployees. Too many companies used the money to buy back shares, to make their numbers look better.

    Economists have estimated a two year accretive impact on an already good economy waning after this year. At some point, some poor soul will have to be the adult to address the deficit and debt. The time to do so is when things are going well. I fault Obama and Dems as well, but I find Trump and the GOP (especially the Freedom Caucus) at fault for their hypocrisy and malfeasance with this tax law. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • I share your frustration on those three issues. Far too many people do not realize it, but there will come a day of reckoning regarding our national debt, which is increasing at an alarming pace with no plan to bring it to heel. The companies that benefit from the tax cuts for the most part never had any intention of “trickling down” their windfall to the benefit of any but themselves. I’m not an economist, but I would not be in the least bit surprised to see the economy take a dive before the end of this year. I’m actually amazed that it hasn’t already.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. OMG THE STUPID. You know don’t how many people told me that they were getting any extra TWENTY or maybe it was THIRTY or maybe it was only FIFTEEN dollars in their paycheck & they were DOWN with that, ya know. It was ALL GOOD. The corporations can pay nothing & that’s alright with them as long as they get whatever pittance you give them. You try to talk to them about MACRO economics & it’s just about the fact that they have an extra few dollars to drink with or to get a bigger bag of weed or a nicer steak at Johnny’s Meats. I mean … I get that but whoa. This is why we’re in the mess we’re in. Nobody cares anymore. Nobody. We really are the walking dead.

    Liked by 5 people

    • More and more I notice that people live only in their own small worlds, and as long as they are relatively happy, nothing else much matters. Try talking climate change to somebody, explaining to them how they really should walk that half-mile to the post office, or stop using single-use plastic bottles & bags … they will either laugh at you, else shrug their shoulders. We have become such a complacent society that we have allowed this mess we are in … it has been happening for centuries, but we are just about to suffer the consequences, I fear. You hit the nail on the head … we are the walking dead.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. If one were to look at this from a distance (from another galaxy), the picture would be of a distinct group of beings using all other beings as captive slaves to their empire. Think of Egyptian hieroglyphs and pictorgrams that depict the masses dragging large rocks, sacrificing, and warring for their idle masters who consider themselves to be deities.
    Nothing changes. The rich and the powerful spit on society. They do not want society… Only slaves!

    Liked by 4 people

    • I noticed the same thing, which was part of the reason I chose that particular image. I was going to compare the photo to a real one to see if he really had such a sour expression, but I didn’t happen to have a $100 note handy …. in fact, I don’t remember the last time I saw one! 😉
      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

      • I keep bemoaning the fact I’ve not had a £50 note (that I can remember) but I don’t know where I could spend it and get £49 change anyway.
        I just thought how funny it would be if Trump wanted his face on a bill and Ben walked off in disgust. At least people wouldn’t be to keen on holding on to their money I suppose.
        Cwtch.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Ah, well … your £5 note will have to do you then, but take heart … there’s always that little piece of plastic!

          The good news here is that even if it were ever decided to put Trump’s face on any currency, he would not know of it, for it is illegal to put the picture of any living person on a bill. So, he’d be dead and would never get the pleasure of gloating over that one. That said, I hope they never do, for if I ever saw one with his picture, I would have to burn it! And it’s not exactly as if I have money to burn.
          Cwtch

          Liked by 2 people

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