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Paul Ryan's Deletion Of His Tax Cut 'Promotion' Shows The Attitude Of Politicians

By newadmin / Published on Tuesday, 06 Feb 2018 00:13 AM / No Comments / 8 views


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House Speaker Paul Ryan (R) and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (L) deliver a speech in White Sulphur Springs, West Viriginia during the Republican party retreat on February 01, 20108. (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Politics is “optics” as they say these days. That’s the politically hip term for perception, which means marketing and PR, not policy, duty, and real governance.

Such was the tax cut, spun as though for the middle class. Figures make it clear that any benefits for most people will quickly fall away in the face of reduced domestic federal spending.

Yes, a $1,000 bonus means a lot to most people, although after typical taxes even under the new regimen this is probably $15 a week. But the bonus goes away and then it’s back to normal, with corporations directing the vast bulk to shareholders on the whole, who are largely of the wealthier classes.

That’s why Nancy Pelosi made the politically tone-deaf remark about these being crumbs. Relatively speaking, that’s exactly what they are. It is only the sunken collective state of most personal finance that makes them seem notable.

Outside of these well-publicized once-in-a-lifetime expressions of “grand” largesse, for most people, the tax cut doesn’t come down to much. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan inadvertently admitted that on Twitter, when he took the advice he’d been handing out to other Republicans and tried to sell the great impact of the tax cut on paychecks. Here’s his tweet, as preserved by the Washington Post.

Twitter/Washington Post

Paul Ryan tweet

A preserved version because Ryan deleted the tweet over the weekend. He found Twitter largely unfriendly to his take.

That’s hardly surprising. Yes, $1.50 taken over 52 weeks totals $78. Apparently it can pay a bill for Costco. It could, instead, cover a chunk of a month’s electric bill or a couple of tanks of gasoline for a car. A family of four, under the USDA “thrifty” plan, spends $147.90 per week on food, so about half of the bill for seven days.

The amount can rise to several hundred dollars, according to the Associated Press, depending on how often someone gets paid and the number of withholding allowance they claimed with their employer. Here’s one example from the AP story:

Wayne Love, who works in managed care in Spring Hill, Florida, got an extra $200 in his paycheck last week, which he said will help offset a $300 increase in the cost of his health insurance.

Or this one:

And Todd Anderson of Texas and his fiancé, who are both educators, got an extra $200 in their paychecks combined that they plan to use to cover the costs of a second baby on its way.

So, one person gets an extra $300 — no telling for how much work or what he usually makes — that will “help offset” health insurance increases. And a pair of teachers get about $100 each, again with no information to know how that number arrived.

Paul Ryan ignores those and goes right for the $1.50-a-week bump as the one to tout.

He would probably have been slammed in any case, because, as the non-partisan Tax Policy Center notes, middle income households will see an average of $930 this year. Average for the top 1% will be an extra $51,000 in 2018.

Looking at averages is deceptive. If you are a couple with two young kids and an adjusted gross income of $75,000, you save $177 a month in reduced taxes, according to TPC. Same $75,000 with older kids, the savings are down to half that. If you’re single and have an AGI of $30,000, you’ll see less than $9 a week.

Yes, some will see more significant sums. Many will see crumbs. Ryan’s choice of the latter as something to trumpet was telling. As Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) tweeted: “That tweet about the $1.50 a week is not a PR mistake. It is really what they think.”

Faulting his logic is difficult. With all the numbers Ryan could have chosen from, he picked $1.50 a week as something to highlight. The decision is remarkable for the condescension. Marie Antoinette would be shocked: The $1.50 isn’t even a slice of cake a week.

The attitude is more notable as an indication of how far attitudes have fallen. Is this really the best we can do? Will we as a country allow politicians to celebrate the distribution of orts? Can we not do better for most people?

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House Speaker Paul Ryan (R) and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (L) deliver a speech in White Sulphur Springs, West Viriginia during the Republican party retreat on February 01, 20108. (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Politics is “optics” as they say these days. That’s the politically hip term for perception, which means marketing and PR, not policy, duty, and real governance.

Such was the tax cut, spun as though for the middle class. Figures make it clear that any benefits for most people will quickly fall away in the face of reduced domestic federal spending.

Yes, a $1,000 bonus means a lot to most people, although after typical taxes even under the new regimen this is probably $15 a week. But the bonus goes away and then it’s back to normal, with corporations directing the vast bulk to shareholders on the whole, who are largely of the wealthier classes.

That’s why Nancy Pelosi made the politically tone-deaf remark about these being crumbs. Relatively speaking, that’s exactly what they are. It is only the sunken collective state of most personal finance that makes them seem notable.

Outside of these well-publicized once-in-a-lifetime expressions of “grand” largesse, for most people, the tax cut doesn’t come down to much. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan inadvertently admitted that on Twitter, when he took the advice he’d been handing out to other Republicans and tried to sell the great impact of the tax cut on paychecks. Here’s his tweet, as preserved by the Washington Post.

Twitter/Washington Post

Paul Ryan tweet

A preserved version because Ryan deleted the tweet over the weekend. He found Twitter largely unfriendly to his take.

That’s hardly surprising. Yes, $1.50 taken over 52 weeks totals $78. Apparently it can pay a bill for Costco. It could, instead, cover a chunk of a month’s electric bill or a couple of tanks of gasoline for a car. A family of four, under the USDA “thrifty” plan, spends $147.90 per week on food, so about half of the bill for seven days.

The amount can rise to several hundred dollars, according to the Associated Press, depending on how often someone gets paid and the number of withholding allowance they claimed with their employer. Here’s one example from the AP story:

Wayne Love, who works in managed care in Spring Hill, Florida, got an extra $200 in his paycheck last week, which he said will help offset a $300 increase in the cost of his health insurance.

Or this one:

And Todd Anderson of Texas and his fiancé, who are both educators, got an extra $200 in their paychecks combined that they plan to use to cover the costs of a second baby on its way.

So, one person gets an extra $300 — no telling for how much work or what he usually makes — that will “help offset” health insurance increases. And a pair of teachers get about $100 each, again with no information to know how that number arrived.

Paul Ryan ignores those and goes right for the $1.50-a-week bump as the one to tout.

He would probably have been slammed in any case, because, as the non-partisan Tax Policy Center notes, middle income households will see an average of $930 this year. Average for the top 1% will be an extra $51,000 in 2018.

Looking at averages is deceptive. If you are a couple with two young kids and an adjusted gross income of $75,000, you save $177 a month in reduced taxes, according to TPC. Same $75,000 with older kids, the savings are down to half that. If you’re single and have an AGI of $30,000, you’ll see less than $9 a week.

Yes, some will see more significant sums. Many will see crumbs. Ryan’s choice of the latter as something to trumpet was telling. As Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) tweeted: “That tweet about the $1.50 a week is not a PR mistake. It is really what they think.”

Faulting his logic is difficult. With all the numbers Ryan could have chosen from, he picked $1.50 a week as something to highlight. The decision is remarkable for the condescension. Marie Antoinette would be shocked: The $1.50 isn’t even a slice of cake a week.

The attitude is more notable as an indication of how far attitudes have fallen. Is this really the best we can do? Will we as a country allow politicians to celebrate the distribution of orts? Can we not do better for most people?

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