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March 9 2018

Nancy Pelosi Back Peddles on Tax Bonuses Being "Crumbs"

by Patrice Lee Onwuka

The surprising impacts from tax cuts have Democratic congressional leader Nancy Pelosi back peddling a little. It looks bonuses aren't "crumbs" after all.

In the wake of hundreds of companies providing millions of workers with bonuses, pay raises, and a host of new or expanded benefits, Democratic lawmakers who opposed the tax reform plan passed last December, may be softening their rhetoric.

Yesterday, speaking on C-Span Pelosi criticized tax cuts for American businesses and individuals, but had to admit that the bonuses, which tax reform spurred, are welcomed:

"Certainly we love when people get a bonus, and if they get a raise. But if it is so small in comparison—if the choice was made for corporate America and the top one percent in our society, at the expense of working families, something is wrong with this picture."

Pelosi also tweeted the same sentiment:

?@NancyPelosiCertainly we are thankful whenever workers get bonuses. But it is *incredibly* telling that companies by-and-large chose to give out one-time bonuses, and not long-term raises. #GOPTaxScam 11:33 AM - Mar 8, 2018

Pelosi must have missed the announcement that Wal-Mart was boosting starting salaries thanks to the tax cuts. She has had to admit though that this pro-growth policy is working.

We, like many other organizationshave called out Pelosi for saying the bonuses and pay increases amount to "crumbs." Now, even her allies think she's gone too far. 

Progressive donor Tom Steyer blasted Pelosi and said she needs to stop calling these benefits "crumbs":

"Nancy was making a point that was true, but she said it in a way that disparaged the amount of money that they were getting," Steyer said at the California Democratic Party convention.

"I think she probably wouldn't use that word again because they're trying to use it against her," Steyer said, adding that Pelosi's political opponents will turn her crumbs gaffe around "to make it look like she's insensitive."

This is more than semantics though. 

Pelosi, Steyer, and others hating on tax reform are pushing misleading statistics to undermine the real benefits to American workers and families. Here's how:

  1. Bonuses and pay raises are just one exciting facet of the financial relief that Americans are experiencing thanks to tax reform. Individuals tax rates were lowered, the standard deduction has been doubled, the child tax credit expanded, and a host of other benefits retained which support families, education, and the future.

  2. In her talk, Pelosi claimed that just "Eighty-three percent of the benefits go to the one percent, 86 million middle-class families will be paying more taxes under the provisions of this bill..." That is misleading. Nine out of ten people who receive a paycheck are seeing more take-home pay and that began in February. Pelosi is not referring to today but to 2027 when the tax cuts are set to expire. There's good reason to expect that Congress will extend tax cuts.

  3. Pelosi claims the tax cuts were "a $1.5 trillion tax break for corporations, and further benefits to them to create jobs overseas." This is disingenuous because the $1.5 trillion price tag is not just for the corporate taxes but the entire tax package including individual tax cuts. In addition, one of the provisions of corporate tax reform was a one-time repatriation tax break for U.S. multinational companies on money earned in foreign countries. Not only is that additional tax revenue, but money brought back is expected to be reinvested in here.

Pelosi's "crumbs" comment continues to expose just how out of touch she is. Just ask the people who've taken to social media under #notcrumbs to tell Pelosi what an extra $50, $100, $200 or more each paycheck means to them. It's that kind of pressure that is probably prompting her to change her tune.

 



Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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