Fact Check: Are Only 2% Of Americans Getting A Raise Or Bonus Thanks To Tax Law?

Jamie Gregora | Contributor

Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders responded to President Trump’s State of the Union Address with a speech of his own in a video posted to the senator’s Facebook page. In that video, Sen. Sanders claims that “only 2 percent of Americans report receiving a raise or bonus as a result of the tax bill.”

Verdict: True

Sanders is accurately citing a poll, though the tax law had only been in effect for a few weeks when the polling took place.

Fact Check:

Sanders’ claim comes from a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Jan. 29, less than a month after the law took effect, which asked Americans whether they had received a bonus or pay raise as a result of the Republican tax law. Sanders did accurately cite the results of the poll, and thus his statement is true.

The poll cited by Sanders notably asked respondents whether they had received a pay raise as a result of the new law. According to information provided to CheckYourFact.com by Ipsos, while 16 percent of the respondents said they had been offered raises, bonuses or additional benefits in the past month, only 2 percent of the total respondents said that this was due to the tax law.

The poll Sanders cited began collecting data Jan. 12, less than two weeks after the tax law came into effect on Jan. 1. The survey stopped collecting data on Jan. 23, meaning that a full-time worker who is paid monthly after Jan. 23 would not have known the impact of the law.

Ipsos and Reuters asked specifically about “raises, bonuses, or additional benefits,” though most of the law’s benefits will be the increases in standard deductions. Sanders did not mention these benefits.

Despite the limitations of the poll, the results are roughly in line with current estimates.

Americans for Tax Reform estimates that roughly 3 million Americans are receiving bonuses, raises or 401(k) hikes as a result of the tax law, while USA Today puts that number at around 2.5 million.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 153.3 million Americans 16 years or older are employed full-time or part-time, out of roughly 323 million Americans. If 3 million workers have received benefits from the tax law, that would be about 2 percent of an estimated 153.3 million.

In conclusion, what Sanders said is technically correct. Two percent of Americans did report that they had not received a bonus or pay raise as a result of the tax law. However, the tax law has yet to come into full effect, and it is not yet clear how much more it will affect paychecks down the road.

Jamie Gregora