It’s all good news on Tuesday’s Three Martini Lunch! Join Jim and Greg as they cheer a new rule which no longer requires many nonprofits to disclose donors to the IRS. They also cheer retail sales from May more than doubling expectations and suggesting Americans are ready to buy again. And they cheer politicians in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn for defying New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and busting open locked playgrounds in response to the city’s heavy-handed crackdown on the Orthodox Jewish community over COVID restrictions.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome the news that tax refunds are now slightly outpacing the amounts issued last year by the IRS. They also examine the record of the latest Democrat to run for president – former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper – and whether he has any path to victory. And they get a kick out of New York Sen. Gillbrand insisting she’s not a flip-flopper after running for Congress as a moderate Democrat and now running for president as a ardent progressive.
Some Americans are shocked to discover that their tax refunds are lower than before the Trump tax cuts, leading certain politicians and media outlets to question whether the middle class really got hit with a tax hike.
California Sen. Kamala Harris, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, was among those to push the narrative.
“The average tax refund is down about $170 compared to last year. Let’s call the President’s tax cut what it is: a middle-class tax hike to line the pockets of already wealthy corporations and the 1%,” tweeted Harris.
The Washington Post Express ran a story focusing on middle class families stressed out by their smaller-than-expected refunds and fuming that Trump didn’t really raise their taxes. Only at the end of a thirteen-paragraph story did the Post reveal that those feeling ripped off were actually pocketing more money as a result of the tax cuts.
National Taxpayers Union President Pete Sepp says the facts show the vast majority of Americans got a tax cut. In fact, 90 percent of Americans making between $40,000-$200,000 per year are expected to see lower taxes.
So why are the refunds smaller?
“The reason why some refunds appear to be lower, and we’re talking about less than 10 percent lower, is that much of the tax cut already showed up in bigger paychecks throughout 2018.
“When you take the bigger paychecks from 2018, combine it with the refunds that people are seeing now, you’re still getting a net tax cut. The problem is people have come to depend on large tax refunds to do things like make major purchases or pay down debts or put more money into savings. That something you could be doing all during the current tax year,” said Sepp.
The Post has now published more analysis directly stating that most taxpayers did in fact get a tax cut.
Listen to the full podcast to hear Sepp’s message for politicians and media suggesting smaller refunds mean higher taxes and why he says big tax refunds are actually worse for you than owing or paying nothing at tax time.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America react to the IRS reportedly ignoring whether taxpayers failed to purchase health insurance in 2016. They also discuss the latest revelations surrounding Mike Flynn and the leaking to the media by career national security personnel. And they discuss the early speculation that Kid Rock may be recruited to run for U.S. Senate in Michigan.