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Broken promises, failed predictions pile up for Republican tax plan

Updated

The Republican tax plan has never been popular, but its GOP proponents adopted a philosophy similar to the one embraced by Democrats during the health care debate a decade ago: once Americans got to know the policy, they’d start to like it a whole lot more.

For Dems, those hopes proved prophetic: the Affordable Care Act now enjoys fairly broad national support. For Republicans, more than a year after their tax plan was implemented, a series of broken promises and failed predictions have made their predicament worse.

As NBC News reported, the public’s concerns appear especially acute as tax season gets underway.

The first tax season with President Donald Trump’s new tax plan is under way and it’s off to a disappointing start for early filers. The average refund this year is down 8.4 percent, to $1,865, for the week ending Feb. 1, according to data from the Internal Revenue Service. […]

Early filers, who were expecting bigger refunds after the White House promised a $4,000 “raise,” under the Trump tax plan, took to Twitter to vent their frustrations, using the hashtag #GOPTaxScam.

Edward Karl, vice president of taxation for the American Institute of CPAs, told Politico, “There are going to be a lot of unhappy people over the next month. Taxpayers want a large refund.”

And many taxpayers aren’t going to get one – which won’t satisfy those who believed Republican rhetoric about the “$4,000 average raise” the typical household would see as a result of the GOP policy.

Complicating matters, of course, is the sheer volume of promises that failed to come to fruition.

We learned two weeks ago, for example, that the Republicans’ tax package appears to have had “no major impact on businesses’ capital investment or hiring plans,” which is the opposite of what GOP officials said. Two weeks before that, we were confronted with new evidence that the tax breaks aren’t paying for themselves, which is also the opposite of what Republicans predicted.

Around the same time, the Congressional Budget Office pointed to slower economic growth over the next couple of years, despite GOP promises that the tax cuts would produce the opposite results.

In fact, I’m having trouble thinking of literally anything Republicans got right as part of this debate. Among their other predictions were assurances that corporate tax breaks wouldn’t go toward stock buybacks, and that the tax breaks would be broadly popular by the time of the 2018 midterm elections, allowing the GOP to make their tax package the centerpiece of their electoral strategy.

Oops.

In contrast, pretty much everything Democrats said about the Republican policy has proven to be true, though even most Dems didn’t fully appreciate how annoyed the public would be about the smaller-to-non-existent refunds.