By Ryan Teague Beckwith
November 6, 2017

Some bad news for Republicans: Their tax bill would lead to higher taxes for 12% of Americans next year and 28% by 2027, according to an analysis from a nonpartisan group.

That’s a high number, and it’s going to stick with some voters the way that Congressional Budget Office estimates that the Republican health care repeal bill would lead to tens of millions more Americans being uninsured did. Already, the proposal faces bad poll numbers, with 50% of Americans in an ABC News/Washington Post poll saying that they oppose it, while only 33% support it.

As more analysis is done on the bill from nonpartisan groups, those poll numbers may go even further down.

That’s because the analysis backs up what many opponents of the bill already thought: that the bill favors the wealthy. The ABC/Post poll found that 60% of Americans think the Republican tax plan favors the wealthy, while only 13% think it would mainly help the middle class, and those who felt that way were less likely to support the bill.

The Tax Policy Center found that Americans making less than $48,000 a year would get only a modest break of three-tenths to half a percentage point of after-tax income, while those making up to $86,000 a year would get an average tax cut of $700, and those making more than $730,000 a year — enough to put them in the top 1% — would get an average cut of $37,000.

Meantime, a report released Friday by Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation found that, on average, families making between $20,000 and $40,000 a year would pay more in individual income taxes.

That would appear to violate the Trump Administration’s own “bright line test” of giving middle class families a tax cut.

“We also have another bright line test as we need to deliver middle class, middle income, hard-working families — we need to deliver them a tax cut. Those are the two areas where the president won’t budge. Everything else, we’re pretty flexible on,” Gary Cohn, Trump’s top economic adviser, said in an interview Friday.

That doesn’t mean the bill is doomed, by any stretch. It’s still early in the legislative process, and Republicans have already sat down to revise the bill, taking care to address concerns from some of their own members. There are lots of reasons why the GOP may come together in the end to pass legislation.

But the bill is starting from a place where most Americans oppose it for reasons that are tied to exactly what it would do. There’s not much that lawmakers can do to finesse that, and those impressions will only harden in the days to come.

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