FACT CHECK: Would 80% Of GOP Tax Cuts Go To The Top 1%?

David Sivak | Fact Check Editor

Democratic Rep. Ann McLane Kuster claimed Wednesday that 80 percent of the tax breaks in the Republican tax reform bill would go to the wealthiest one percent of income earners.

Verdict: False

Kuster cites an outdated statistic. According to the Tax Policy Center (TPC), the wealthiest one percent of Americans would receive 47 percent of the tax benefits in 2027.

Fact Check:

Ever since the GOP released a tax reform framework in September, the Democratic Party has criticized the plan as benefitting the wealthy at the expense of lower- and middle-income Americans.

One of the most common statistics repeated by Democrats is the claim made by Kuster. “Eighty percent of the tax breaks in their bill go to the wealthiest one percent of Americans,” she said on the House floor.

The statistic comes from the TPC, a left-leaning think tank that analyzed who would win and lose under the GOP tax proposal. When House Republicans released formal legislation on Thursday, the TPC conducted an updated analysis for 2027 that showed a significantly different distribution of tax benefits.

Under the revised tax plan, 47 percent of the benefits would accrue to the top one percent of income earners. A similar analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found that the top one percent would receive 48 percent of tax cuts in 2027.

Yet politicians continue to repeat the 80 percent statistic. In the last couple days alone, the figure has been repeated on the House floor by Kuster, Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (twice), Oregon Rep. Suzanne Bonamici and Ohio Rep. Joyce Beatty.

The updated TPC analysis still shows that the wealthy disproportionately benefit from the tax plan. For example, the top 20 percent of income earners would reap 73 percent of the tax cut in 2027. And an analysis by the Tax Foundation, a right-leaning think tank, also shows that wealthier Americans would receive a larger percentage change in after-tax income.

The Daily Caller News Foundation contacted Kuster’s office, which characterized the bill as “offering massive giveaways to corporate special interests.”

But the top one percent wouldn’t receive nearly the benefit claimed by Kuster and others. TPC told TheDCNF that the figure dropped from 80 percent to 47 percent because of revisions to the GOP proposal.

Republicans added a top income bracket of 39.6 for millionaires (the prior version had a top bracket of 35 percent), made changes to corporate and business tax cuts and added guardrails to prevent the wealthy from exploiting the 25 percent tax cap for pass-through businesses.

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David Sivak

Fact Check Editor
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