What's even more popular than raising taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals? Cutting them for everyone else, which is exactly what Democrats already did through the stimulus checks and tax credits featured in their $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package.
According to new estimates from congressional forecasters, Democratic tax cuts for low- to middle-income earners included in President Joe Biden's relief plan could mean that people making less than $75,000 on average will pay nothing in federal income taxes this year.
In other words, Democrats are doing for most Americans what Republicans achieved for many major corporations through their 2017 tax giveaway to the rich. In fact, at least 55 of the nation's largest corporations paid zero federal income taxes in their most recent fiscal year, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.
Once more, Democratic tax cuts in the relief plan should cut taxes for everyone but the wealthy "substantially more" than the GOP did in the first year following their tax cut, according to reporting from Politico. Not only could those earning less than $75,000 annually pay nothing, those earning between $75,000 and $100,000 could pay next to nothing—just 1.8% on average this year, according to the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation.
"That will shift the relative burden to the wealthy, at least temporarily, with those earning more than $500,000 expected to pay more than two-thirds of all income taxes this year," writes Politico.
So while Republicans rail against the notion of raising taxes on the nation's wealthiest individuals and corporations, Democrats flipped the script by cutting taxes for everyone else.
“It was a big honking tax cut for low- and moderate-income people,” Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center, told Politico. He noted that people don't generally think of stimulus payments as tax cuts, but that's exactly what they are. “It plays against type — Democrats are not supposed to cut taxes, Democrats are supposed to raise taxes.”
Democrats also went big with their cuts—slashing some $492 billion in revenues on the year, one of the largest single-year cuts in the history of Congress. That figure dwarfs the first year of the GOP tax cuts, which reduced taxes by $136 billion.
But the Democratic cuts were also temporary, and Democrats will now make a push to enshrine them permanently into federal law while also eyeing the possibility of raising rates on major corporations and the rich.
In the meantime, Democrats head into 2022 being able to run on the huge tax cuts they gave to most Americans—without a single vote from Republicans.