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No Love for Working Families This Valentine’s Day

| February 13, 2018

Paul Ryan tries to stick to the script. (Tony Alter)

Paul Ryan tries to stick to the script. (Tony Alter)

By Josh Hoxie

Love is in the air. Or so the marketers want us to believe, as Valentine’s Day ads sweep the nation into a frenzy of buying flowers, greeting cards, and confections to communicate our affection.

Washington is less forthcoming with the adoration, especially for working people.

You’re probably tired of hearing about the tax plan passed by Congress late last year. If not, just wait for the media barrage coming your way from the Republican donor class, which is guaranteed to make the Super Bowl Tide ads look like child’s play.

In case you missed it, Republicans jammed through a comprehensive reform of the tax code in December without a single congressional hearing or Democratic vote. The plan was a massive gift to the ultra-wealthy — a money grab by any measure, with just a few peanuts tossed to the rest of us.

Next, Republican lawmakers and their backers announced plans to spend tens of millions of dollars promoting said peanuts, to distract from the huge windfalls going to millionaires and billionaires.

They’ve got their work cut out for them in promoting the most unpopular legislation in recent history.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan took to Twitter to celebrate the reported tax savings of a secretary in Pennsylvania resulting from the Trump tax cuts. Her take of the $1.5 trillion cut? A whopping $1.50 per week added to her paycheck, Ryan boasted.

It’s safe to say this PR effort is off to poor start.

other-wordsRyan didn’t explain why he quickly deleted his tweet shortly after posting it. I suspect it had something to do with the Twitter users who pointed out that the billionaire Koch brothers stand to gain as much as $1.4 billion annually, according to Americans for Tax Fairness.

That’s $1.50 a week for the secretary in Pennsylvania, versus about $27 million per week for the Koch brothers.

The Koch brothers jab might’ve hit a bit close to home for Ryan — who, just days after the Trump tax cuts became law, accepted $500,000 from Charles Koch for his fundraising committee. If it looks like corruption, smells like corruption, and tastes like corruption… Well, you get the idea.

The author and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel taught us, “The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference.” What we’ve witnessed from Ryan and his billionaire backers, as well as Trump, is complete and utter indifference to the needs of working families.

The $1.50 tweet is indicative of just how out of touch Washington has become with ordinary families. The only group that matters is the wealthy. They get the love, the adoration, and the huge handouts.

Meanwhile, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will expire without re-authorization this year. SNAP, sometimes called food stamps, serves one in seven low-income Americans, over 20 million households.

This is just one of many vitally important programs on the chopping block of Trump’s proposed budget. Given the rhetoric coming from the Republican majority in Congress, prospects look dim.

Maybe this Valentine’s Day, Cupid’s arrow will strike our greedy Koch brothers as they sit in their private jets looking down on the working families for whom they hold such deep disdain. Maybe they’ll find a little love and compassion for the less-well off and stop doing everything they can to make themselves richer and everyone else poorer.

Josh Hoxie directs the Project on Taxation and Opportunity at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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21 Responses for “No Love for Working Families This Valentine’s Day”

  1. Richard says:

    Well frankly I got a lot more than the $1.50 mentioned in this article thanks to the GOP Tax Cut Bill for almost doubling the standard deduction to $24,000 up from $12,700. That’s about twelve more thousand dollars I do not have to pay tax on. Sorry to hear that she is not as happy as I am.

  2. Mikey Eyes says:

    The people that have been out of touch with working people are Democrats! That is why trump got elected! And nice try on the Koch contributions! Josh you really want to compare contributions? How much money did Hillary raise? Billions right? Maybe your next article should be on Republicans starving children in America? Oh wait that one has been tried already! note: Mikey Eyes directs the Project on common sense at the Institute for Street Smart Studies.

  3. knightwatch says:

    I don’t work – retired – so no help for me. $1.50 per week would have been so welcome. I could have almost paid for a Starbucks plain small coffee. Maybe a Burger King something or other. Or, perhaps a down payment of some medication I need. Thank you Alt-Right President Trump! Oh, wait, reduced Federal taxes means less money for the states. That means reduced services and/or higher user fees. So, while I get no tax reduction, and I probably will have to pay higher fees … hmmm. Not so good for us retirees, is it.

  4. gmath55 says:

    I’m retired and it is good for me. I believe I will get more back or pay less taxes because of my two pensions.

  5. hawkeye says:

    I got close to $80 dollars more in my paycheck this week , thank you President Trump.

  6. mark191 says:

    I also got a lot more than $1.50, how about $173.10 extra in the check. I’m loving it.

  7. just me says:

    Don’t wiry Kinghtwatch The Federal Government will still SPEND way MORE then it takes.

    By Terence P. Jeffrey | January 12, 2018 | 2:45 PM EST

    Statue of Alexander Hamilton in front of the U.S. Treasury building in Washington, D.C. (Screen Capture)

    ( – The federal government collected record individual-income-tax revenues through the first quarter of fiscal 2018 (October through December), according to the new Monthly Treasury Statement.

    Despite taking in record individual-income-tax revenues, the federal government ran a deficit of approximately $225 billion during the quarter.

  8. GY says:

    Cutting the top end of the blanket off and sewing to the bottom doesn’t make the blanket any longer. Shouldn’t take a genius to figure that out. Oh well…I’m buying candy with my $2.00.

  9. Brian says:

    It appears that this goofball has been drinking the Pelosi Kool-Aid. He surely knows that hundreds of companies are awarding bonuses and raises to middle-class employees. But it’s “crumbs” to Pelosi and “peanuts” to Hoxie. Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Apple, Boeing, Best Buy are just a few – feel free to google a complete list. Of course, this Hoxie guy is just another uber-lefty Trump hater. If Trump came out in favor of oxygen many liberals would probably suffocate themselves. But hey, it has become an amusing pastime to watch the Trump haters embarrass themselves.

  10. marty says:

    Supposedly, this tax “plan” was designed to deliver in Trump’s words “HUGE” and “MASSIVE” tax cuts to middle class people. It’s “purpose” we were told was to deliver, again in Trump’s words, “BIG, BEAUTIFUL” tax cuts to people like me.
    So…here is the reality I have experienced (as have many, many others in the middle class)- I am seeing my taxes cut in my every-two-weeks paycheck and have for a month or so. The result: I now bring home just under $34.00 every two weeks. ($16.67/week).
    Now, I am grateful to have more take-home pay. BUT- who in the fantasy world of Republican right-wingers, Trump followers, and FOX News viewers, would tell me this amounts to a “HUGE” or “MASSIVE” tax cut?
    I met some friends recently who are Trump supporters – his cut amounted to about $25 a week.
    So to hear Republicans constantly tout this tax scam as a boon to middle class people is grotesquely false. It is simply the same Republican economic plan played out for decades – tax cuts for the rich and corporations, and cuts to social services.

  11. ihearya says:

    Until ALL politicians are held accountable for their actions, little will change in Washington. These people are there to do a job and the majority of them perform poorly.
    It’s a circus and the animals are running amuck.

  12. Layla says:

    What are the Democrats offering us, besides more amnesty and illegals to support? Soros is busy buying races in Texas and Virginia. We face a bleak future if they win… borders and continued chain migration.

  13. Veteran says:

    Well Knightwatch, l got a $60 per month pay raise in my military retirement thanks to less federal tax.

  14. Stranger in a strange land says:

    The tax cut was the result of a disfunctional democracy as much as the Affordable Care Act. We are at the point where both parties, upon gaining a mojority and the Presidency, rush through whatever their pet project is without the input and measure of the(formerly loyal) opposition party. “You have to pass it to know what’s in it” is the new motto for both Ds and Rs. Wait till people start doing their 2018 tax returns a year from now to learn what “gliches” and oversights there are in the tax bill. There will be unintended consequences. That’s not even taking into account the long term effect of strapping our children and grand children with a deficit driven national debt that will only accelerate like a Spacex heavy launch as a result of the reduced revenues from this tax bill that our “tea party” deficit vigilantes voted for with barely a whimper. Bi-partisan review puts a critical eye on proposals that helps prevent the stupid stuff and that doesn’t happen anymore.
    As far as the effect of the bill on working families, wait to see what services and safety nets are reduced or eliminated. You will get an additional $1.50 a week now but when you or a family member are unemployed your benefits will be less, food stamps will be gone and when you retire your medicare will cost more and provide less. The rich will get much richer, the poor will ultimately suffer, and the middle class will pay the bills. This tax bill just accelerates what has been happening for almost two decades. We will just hit the wall sooner and at a higher speed.

  15. smarterthanmost says:

    “If Trump came out in favor of oxygen many liberals would probably suffocate themselves.”

    Two Thumbs Up !!!

  16. Edith Campins says:

    Chain migration has Melania Trump’s parents living in the US. They have no special talents and he has ben a Communist party official for decades. And where are your facts on Soros buying races or did you just hear it on FAUX?

    As for the raises some of you got….did you see the numbers on the layoffs that were concurrent with the raises? And are the raises worth the huge increase in our debt? You know, the debt you criticized President. Obama for and Trump said he would eradicate.

  17. Sherry says:

    trump is now proposing a plan to RAISE federal gas TAXES by a whopping 25 per gallon!!!

    This is after he and the Republicans have CUT taxes for the billionaires and blown the deficit to smithereens!!


  18. Dave says:

    Brian if you forget, Trump already has taken a stand Against Oxygen when he pulled out of the climate deal. And for those company’s you claim are giving raises, they are also firing thousands of employees at the same time.

  19. smarterthanmost says:

    @ Dave, ” And for those company’s you claim are giving raises, they are also firing thousands of employees at the same time.”

    I appreciate some references regarding this.

  20. Sherry says:

    ?thanmost. . . please note that just a tiny bit of effort, and 2 minutes internet research revealed this. . . which you could have found easily yourself. . . that is IF you really wanted to:

    Comcast laid off more than 500 sales employees right before Christmas, according to documents reviewed by media outlets including the Philadelphia Enquirer,, and the Daily News. The documents were confirmed by at least one former Comcast employee who was not identified in the press.

    The truth about AT&T’s $1,000 bonus for workers
    AT&T is also in the process of laying off thousands of employees, according to the Communication Workers of America (CWA) union, which represents AT&T workers. CWA filed a lawsuit against the company claiming that some of those layoffs are needless, and that the timing of the terminations — just two weeks before Christmas — represents “an extraordinary act of corporate cruelty.” ,

  21. Sherry says:

    This from CNBC:

    Trump reportedly endorses 25-cent hike in gas tax to pay for infrastructure plan

    President Donald Trump is reportedly open to raising the federal tax on gasoline and diesel by 25 cents to pay for the White House’s infrastructure plan.
    The current taxes, which have not been raised in nearly 25 years, are 18.4 cents per gallon for gasoline and 24.4 cents for diesel.
    At least some Republican lawmakers and many conservative groups are opposed to hiking the federal fuel levy.

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