Trump Tax Plan Not Boosting Paychecks, Voters Tell Pollster

A new poll shows that the majority of American voters haven't noticed an increase in their paychecks because of the Republican tax cuts, which went into effect this January.

The Politico and Morning Consult poll reported that 55 percent of respondents had not noticed any jumps in their paychecks over the “the past several weeks.” About 22 percent had noticed an increase, and 23 percent weren't sure. In February, only 51 percent of those surveyed said their paychecks had not increased. 

In reality, many Americans saw a bit more money in their checks in February because of the tax plan. For single people making between $46,000 and $162,000, their bi-weekly paychecks were estimated to increase by roughly $40 to $190.

“We estimate that 90 percent of wage earners will experience an increase in their take home pay,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in January. “These tax cuts will ensure that American workers are able to keep more of their hard earned income and decide how to spend, invest or save it.”

The Republican tax plan permanently slashed corporate tax rates to 21 percent from 35 percent, and lowered rates for most Americans. But many Americans remain dubious about the changes. 

The Politico poll found that support for the tax cuts remained steady this month, with about 44 percent of voting Americans in favor of the tax plan, though votes fell cleanly along partisan lines. Roughly 80 percent of Republican voters supported the plan while only 17 percent of Democrats did, according to the monthly survey. Support among independent voters, however, grew this month to 41 percent, from 38 percent in February.

Those who did see paycheck increases were more likely to vote Republican in the upcoming 2018 midterm elections, with 65 percent of those who saw a bump saying they’d vote red in in November, signaling potential good news for the GOP.

The new data suggests that if Republicans can successfully convince American voters that the tax cuts have benefited them, they’ll likely maintain control of Congress. About 65 percent of independents and 35 percent of Democrats who said they saw an increase in their paychecks also said they would support Republicans in the midterm elections.

Republican groups have spent millions of dollars on advertisements touting the GOP tax cuts, and have run about 17,800 TV spots so far this year for a total of $8 million spent. Democrats, meanwhile are running thousands of advertisements advocating against the policy.

Two other recent polls, from Gallup and NBC News/The Wall Street Journal, found that the majority of Americans are negative on the Republican tax plan. The Gallup poll also found that many Americans weren't sure about how the cuts would alter their tax returns at the end of the year. “With a majority of all Americans viewing the new tax law unfavorably, the lack of their awareness about whether their own taxes have decreased under the new law may be a good thing for the president,” wrote Gallup senior editor Lydia Saad. “It means there is still an opportunity for Trump and his party to benefit should taxpayers ultimately determine their tax bill has gone down.” The benefit, however, would come in January, long after midterm elections. 

Republican House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady told Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Tuesday that polling around tax approval is typically inaccurate. “When you ask people, ‘Should you be able to keep more of what you’ve worked so hard to earn, you want to see the standard deduction doubled, do you want to get more help raising your kids, you want to see those paychecks rise,’ the answer invariably is ‘Yes,’” he said. “I think just the general comment, you sometimes get a different answer.”

Critics argue that the cuts favor high-income and wealth-holding individuals to a much larger extent than middle and lower-income Americans. Meanwhile, U.S. deficits are projected to balloon because of the decrease in revenue being collected under the tax cuts. The CBO projects that federal spending will exceed revenues by $804 billion in fiscal year 2018, up from $665 billion in 2017. 

GettyImages-947769292 Activists gather on Capitol Hill to demand President Donald Trump release his tax returns. Alex Wong/Getty Images