The article published in The Week
, argues that workers were deceived during the full year (2018) by employers who were mislead to withhold much less from their employees' salaries. The article says that "the Trump administration actively pressured Treasury and the IRS to undershoot withholding estimates"
and it goes on from the very beginning of that fake journalistic piece to assert that the 2017 law did nothing to boost workers' wages or create jobs. Further down, they use the "if" factor to cover their backs: "If the White House did this ..."
, meaning that they are not sure but it is good to speculate.
Let us find out about workers' wages:
According to figures available at the Social Security WEB pages (www.ssa.gov/OACT/COLA/central.html
) Average Net Compensation rose from $46,119.78 in 2015 and $46,640 in 2016 to $48,251.57 in 2017. Average wages for 2018 are not yet available in the Socical Security site.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/wkyeng.pdf
), the Median weekly earnings of all workers (they are using the median in these tables and not the average) increased from $860 to $886. That makes a median salary increase of $1,352 in 2018 over the previous year (2017).
Regarding job creation, even The New York Times
, a well known anti-Trump newspaper would not hide their surprise in an article published early last November under the title "US added 250,000 jobs in October; unemployment at 3.7%
". This extremely low unemployment rate is among the lowest ever since 1900 and it represents for professional Economists "full employment", because an unemployment rate of less than 3.5% is almost impossible. Of course, for the NY Times the government does not have much to do with these results, but "A swerving stock market, tariffs and weakening growth in other countries"
, among a lot of other economic whitewash.
Again, The Washington Post
, another anti-Trump paper, was forced to report early this January that "The US economy added 312,000 jobs in December".
But let us go to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and we find that jobs creation was almost as high in January 2019, in spite of the usual downturn happening every year after Christmas. In general, according the the BLS, average job creation in 2018 was substantially higher than in 2016 and 2017.
Figures about tax returns are not yet available and it does not matter whether refunds are higher or not this next April if the total tax paid (withholding + returns) is substantially lower for middle and lower income taxpayers than in previous years. If I get a negative surprise, I'll be humble and let readers know.
Nevertheless, the US tax system is still too complicated and has many unfair aspects in spite of the new law making it more accessible to common people. In fact, this debate started in Spanish where I advocated a fiscal system that would get rid of the IRS. On that first post I said:
Un impuesto sobre el consumo frenaría el consumismo desenfrenado, alentaría el ahorro y sería más justo porque cada quien pagaría impuestos según sus propias decisiones de consumo. Este es un plan que han esgrimido candidatos libertarios en Estados Unidos, el cual es de los pocos proyectos en su programa que vale la pena aplaudir y respaldar por todos los medios al alcance de los ciudadanos norteamericanos.