- Both House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell claimed that their respective tax plans would lead to a tax cut for every middle-class family.
- Independent analyses have cast doubt on those assertions.
- Both have now said they misspoke when saying every family would get a cut.
In recent days, both Republican congressional leaders have claimed their respective versions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would lower the tax bills of every middle-class American family. Now they’re walking back that claim.
“So according to the Joint Committee on Taxation – which is the official scorekeeper of these things – every single person, every rate payer, every bracket person gets a rate cut,” House Speaker Paul Ryan told conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh on Tuesday.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told something similar to Hugh Hewitt on MSNBC on Saturday.
“But at the end of the day, nobody in the middle class is going to get a tax increase, and we are committed to middle class tax relief and business tax changes that keep our jobs here in America,” he said.
Independent analyses have cast doubt on those claims. The Tax Foundation, Tax Policy Center, and the Joint Committee on Taxation have all found that the House legislation would raise taxes on many in the middle class. For instance, the JCT found 23.7% of people making between $50,000 and $75,000 a year would see a tax increase in 2027 under the House plan.
On the Senate side, a New York Times analysis found that 17% of people making between $50,000 and $75,000 annually would see a tax increase in 2018.
After the analyses were highlighted by various news outlets, the leaders began to walk back their statements.
AshLee Strong, a spokesperson for Ryan, told the Washington Post on Thursday that the speaker misspoke when he said everyone would get a tax cut.
Ryan also began to couch his language, saying that “average households at every income level see a tax cut.”
It is true that the tax bill would on average generate a cut for households at each level of income. The Tax Policy Center found in 2018 the average household would receive a cut of $1,200 and in 2027 the average household would receive a cut of $700.
McConnell walked his statements back in a similar manner, telling the New York Times he misspoke.
“You can’t guarantee that absolutely no one sees a tax increase,” McConnell told the Times.