“President Trump, you’re not standing up for working families when … 83 percent of your tax benefits go to the top 1 percent.”
— Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
This is misleading. Sanders is referring to the tax cuts that will result by 2027, not under the Trump presidency.
In 2018, most U.S. taxpayers can expect some kind of tax cut, according to just about every analysis. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center (TPC) found that initially more than 80 percent of taxpayers would get a tax cut, with less than 5 percent getting a tax increase.
Since the wealthy pay most of the income taxes, they end up with most of the tax cuts. The TPC report shows that in 2018, the top 1 percent would get 20.5 percent of the tax cuts; the top quintile would get 65.3 percent. In other words, that’s not nearly as lopsided as Sanders asserts.
In 2027, the study shows, 82.8 percent of the tax cuts will flow to the top 1 percent. The top quintile actually receives 107.3 percent of the tax changes — because taxes actually increase for the folks in the lowest, second-lowest and middle quintiles.
What happened? The individual tax cuts expire over the course of the decade. Republicans structured the tax cut this way to keep the whole package — especially the corporate tax cut — in a budget box that allowed only for a $1.5 trillion increase in the federal deficit over 10 years.