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Disregard Dems’ rhetoric

Democrats and progressive activists have not been magnanimous in their tax cut defeat. They continue to parrot the misleading talking point that 83 percent of tax cut savings will go to the top 1 percent and that 86 million Americans will see their taxes increased as a result.

These numbers are based on the faulty assumption that the significant individual tax cuts in the legislation will expire. In reality, no Congress would eliminate the legislation’s provisions that bring long overdue relief to ordinary taxpayers. These include the doubling of the zero tax bracket, doubling of the child tax credit, and elimination of the 15 percent tax rate in favor of a vastly expanded 12 percent rate. Even Socialist Bernie Sanders was forced to recently admit these tax cut provisions are good.

The tax cut reality is much different than the Democrat rhetoric. According to the left-of-center Tax Policy Center, over 80 percent of Americans will receive tax relief in 2018 and only 4.8 percent — the vast majority of whom are wealthy — will see a tax increase. The wealthiest 1 percent will actually see their share of federal taxes paid increase as a result of this legislation.

Fortunately this is one of the rare policy debates that will be settled objectively as tax cuts begin to show up in paychecks as soon as February. If Democrats keep up their 83 percent and 86 million arguments then, they will not only sound like sour grapes but also completely out of touch with reality.

Alfredo Ortiz,

president and CEO

Job Creators Network

The right way to raise wages

In response to the Trump administration’s tax overhaul, Wells Fargo and Fifth Third Bancorp will raise their minimum wages to $15 per hour. AT&T and Comcast also pledged to pay a $1,000 bonus to each of their U.S. employees. It’s a good example of how lawmakers can incentivize higher wages instead of universally mandating them.

This year, we saw an opposing example in Seattle. A team of city-funded economists at the University of Washington found that Seattle’s $15 minimum wage mandate had caused employee pay to decrease. That’s because the mandated increase in hourly pay was offset by a drop in work hours, when businesses with razor-thin profit margins couldn’t offset the labor cost increase with higher prices.

When employers have the freedom to manage their businesses, less-skilled workers benefit. But forcing employers to pay higher wages costs employees their jobs.

Michael Saltsman,

managing director

Employment Policies Institute

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