With the passage of the GOP-led tax reform bill late last month, many Americans were left wondering how they would fare during the 2018 tax season.
Mainstream media outlets have vented outrage at the massive reform bill, with The Washington Post calling it a “Win for the Wealthy,” and The New York Times suggesting it would further allow Republicans to “Feather Their Own Nests.”
Amid all the concern, however, “CBS This Morning” decided to investigate how exactly the new plan will truly affect working-class Americans during the upcoming tax season.
CBS’ segment, which aired late last month, resurfaced on Tuesday when House Speaker Paul Ryan posted it to his Facebook page.
“Families were led to believe their tax bills were going up,” Ryan wrote in an accompanying post. “Watch as these families see how big their savings really are.”
The tax cuts themselves seemed to affect all three families CBS talked with. The families interviewed represented a wide range of incomes and situations — from a single-parent household making less than $40,000 annually to married couples with and without children.
But the constant theme was apparent — everyone seemed to benefit in at least some way from the tax reform bill.
“It didn’t seem as they were going along that it would really affect someone like me,” said Marcie George, a single mother who makes less than $40,000 per year. “Financially, I struggle. I live paycheck to paycheck. I make things work. … We do get by.”
However, CBS brought the single mother’s 2016 tax return to accountant Jeffrey Levine, who said she could expect to benefit from a doubling of the child tax credit as well as a savings of nearly $1,300.
“That would be more than I would be seeing in each paycheck,” George said after being given the news. “So that would be a good thing.”
Married homeowners Jason and Amber Edwards weren’t sure if the tax reform legislation would work. The couple, who have no children and make a combined salary that exceeds $150,000, have been attempting to pay off their student loans.
Levine said the couple can now claim a standard deduction, and with no itemized deductions, they will receive a tax cut totaling about $650.
“I’m a little surprised,” Amber said, noting that her husband initially thought they would have to pay more in taxes.
The third family featured on “CBS This Morning” also thought they would have to pay higher taxes, though they did not know exactly how much more they would owe.
Melissa and Layne Lev are married homeowners with three children. In 2016, they made about $300,000.
Under the new tax plan. Levine said the family’s itemized deductions will be lower. However, they will not have to pay the alternative minimum tax, and they will be able to qualify for child tax credits.
As a result, they should be getting a tax cut totaling roughly $13,000.
“Well that’s good,” Melissa said, prompting immediate agreement from her husband.
According to Heritage Foundation founder Edwin Feulner, the tax plan — though far from perfect — offers real tax relief to many Americans no matter where they lie on the income scale.
Writing in The Washington Times, Feulner suggested that though the rich pay the lion’s share of the tax burden and will see large benefits, many in the middle class can plan on seeing up to a 56 percent tax cut.
Though there’s still work to be done to simplify America’s tax code, he wrote that the newly implemented Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a good place to start for many hard-working Americans.
Moreover, many high-profile companies are giving bonuses to their employees, in addition to announcing they will be creating more jobs.
In December, AT&T announced it plans to give more than 200,000 employees a $1,000 bonus while also investing nearly $1 billion in the economy. Boeing followed in its wake, announcing its own $300 million investment.
Other businesses immediately responded to the tax legislation’s passage with a few welcome announcements of their own — bonuses for their employees, and plans to create more jobs.
“This is just the first wave of many such stories,” tax expert Adam Michel told The Daily Signal. “These announcements show that businesses across America will put their tax cut to good use.”
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