These 7 charts show Trump's tax cuts still haven't been the economic 'rocket fuel' he promised, 2 years after the fact
- President Trump accomplished his signature legislative achievement two years ago: the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which permanently slashed the corporate tax rate.
- Supporters of the law argued it would improve worker productivity, raise wages, and supercharge economic growth.
- But the law achieved none of the ambitious goals Republicans put forward, and there are few signs they ever will.
- Here are seven charts that show why the tax cuts were not the economic "rocket fuel" that Trump promised.
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Two years ago, President Trump accomplished his signature legislative achievement: the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
The law was the biggest overhaul to the nation's tax code in three decades, and the president pitched it as "rocket fuel" for the American economy. It permanently slashed the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35% while also providing temporary benefits for individuals and their families.
Critics argued it was a windfall for massive corporations at the expense of the middle class. Meanwhile, supporters of the tax cuts contended it would unleash an economic bonanza. Businesses would invest in their operations, they said, resulting in improved worker productivity and higher wages.
But the law has achieved none of the ambitious goals that Republicans put forward - and there are scant signs they ever will.
There were short-term bumps in GDP growth and business investment that faded relatively quickly. Wages increased, but not to the extent Republicans promised.
And the law's hefty price tag has not been offset by more tax dollars flowing to government coffers. Corporate tax receipts are down 23% since fiscal 2017. The Congressional Budget Office projected the GOP tax cuts will widen the deficit by $1.9 trillion over a decade.
Further, one study recently found evidence suggesting that corporations are now paying the lowest tax rates in four decades. The average rate last year for 400 of the largest US companies averaged out to 11.3%.
Here are seven charts demonstrating why the tax cuts were not the "rocket fuel" Trump promised.
GDP growth has averaged 2.4% since Dec. 2017, short of the 3% estimate that the Trump administration repeatedly touted.
Job growth has kept steady, but the tax cuts had a limited impact.
The tax cuts didn't dramatically ramp up what workers earn in an average hour.
Consumer confidence fluctuated through 2019 — and the tax cuts had little to do with it.
Capital spending has steadily decreased in the last two years, mainly the product of uncertainty of Trump's ongoing trade wars.
The tax cuts didn't reverse the decline in manufacturing activity.
Stock buybacks, however, set records in 2018, the first full year of the Trump tax law — and they're higher than before the law was enacted.
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