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President Trump promises to bring the middle class a new tax cut by November, somehow

With Congress out of session until the midterm elections are over, it will be something of a challenge.

US President Donald Trump arrives for a "Make America Great Again" rally at Elko Regional Airport in Elko, Nevada, October 20, 2018. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump arrives for a "Make America Great Again" rally at Elko Regional Airport in Elko, Nevada, October 20, 2018. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty Images)

“Middle-income people” are set to be the beneficiaries of a brand, new round of tax cuts from Republicans on Capitol Hill, says Donald Trump, and the plan is to implement them by November. This, despite the fact that Congress is out of session until after the November 6 midterm elections.

But as the Washington Post’s Seung Min Kim reported, a “very major tax cut” is in the offing, or so Trump told his supporters at an Elko, Nevada rally. Per the Washington Post:

After his campaign rally in this northeastern Nevada town, Trump talked up the new round of tax cuts, but did not go into specifics. He said the cuts would be done “sometime just prior, I would say, to November.”

“We are going to be putting in and are studying very deeply right now, around the clock a major tax cut for middle-income people,” Trump said shortly before his departure back to Washington. “Not for business at all. For middle-income people.”

It took congressional Republicans about seven weeks of debate before they were able to send a tax cut bill to Trump’s desk to be signed at the end of last year. Meanwhile, it will be “prior to November” for just another 11 days.

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It’s telling that Trump’s promise specifically highlighted the fact that there was a need for a tax relief for “middle-income” Americans that was “not for business at all,” as these were not features of the Republicans last round of tax cuts.

As ThinkProgress’ Rebekah Entralgo reported in April, analysis from Americans for Tax Fairness found that the primary beneficiaries of that first round of tax cuts in December were American corporate firms, which largely kept the proceeds for themselves, rather than passing them along to their employees.

The organization analyzed corporate data from primarily Fortune 500 companies, whose revenues are two-thirds of the entire gross domestic product (GDP), in addition to news reports and independent analyses of top U.S. companies. What they found was that these powerful corporations have spent a total of roughly $238,244,348,330 in stock buybacks since December 20, 2017 when the tax bill passed.

Working class Americans won’t see a penny of that.

At the end of July, a Politico examination of SEC filings confirmed that the December tax cuts were, indeed, a massive windfall for those few Americans able to enrich themselves through stock buybacks.

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“Stock buyback announcements in the U.S. have swelled to the highest levels on record in the wake of last year’s corporate tax cut,” read one report, from TrimTabs Investment Research. During this time, wages have remained flat, as corporate profits have ballooned.

Unsurprisingly, Republicans have been hesitant to discuss the issue on the campaign trail. As Bloomberg’s Sahil Kapur and Joshua Green reported last month, Republicans have determined that they’d all but “lost the messaging battle” around tax cuts:

A survey commissioned by the Republican National Committee has led the party to a glum conclusion regarding President Donald Trump’s signature legislative achievement: Voters overwhelmingly believe his tax overhaul helps the wealthy instead of average Americans.

By a 2-to-1 margin — 61 percent to 30 percent — respondents said the law benefits “large corporations and rich Americans” over “middle class families,” according to the survey, which was completed on Sept. 2 by the GOP firm Public Opinion Strategies and obtained by Bloomberg News.

According to the Washington Post, the White House “did not immediately respond for clarification” on what President Trump was referring to when he promised a new round of tax cuts prior to November. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the House Ways and Means Committee “deferred to the White House for specifics on a new tax proposal.”