The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—Republican tax bill that went into effect last year—has left a lot to be desired, even for many middle class Republicans.
While the bill touted lowered individual tax rates and an increase for the standard deduction, it was heavily criticized for its slashing of corporate tax rates from 35% to 21%—a move many predict will lead to a notable increase in the deficit.
And though Americans received higher pay on average, if they didn't adjust the withholdings in their paycheck, they're likely facing a lower refund, or no refund at all, but a bill instead—a prospect that has many middle class and working class Republicans outraged.
According to Senator Chuck Grassley (R-I), those people are stupid.
Grassley told the Huffington Post:
“Why don’t you write a story saying, ‘You’re stupid to look at your refund to see whether or not you got a tax increase or a decrease. You can’t measure by the refund.”
While it's true that refund size isn't a solid metric for measuring an increase or decrease, many feel that the hastiness with which the bill was pushed through the Senate in late 2017 hindered the Internal Revenue Service's ability to adjust. The IRS was given only a week to recalibrate the paycheck rates it recommends employers withhold from their workers to pay their federal taxes by the end of the year.
Many rejected Grassley's words and criticized how the tax bill enables corporate greed and prioritizes the wealthy.
@HuffPost My taxes went down. It's fraction of what the GOP suggested we'd get. It certainly doesn't compare to the… https://t.co/C0NUuVnPh2— #34 Forever ♌️ (@#34 Forever ♌️)1551399304.0
@HuffPost https://t.co/7d6a5KCsIB— DME (@DME)1551404577.0
@HuffPost Let him tell that tp the billionaires he so graciously gabe a big tax cut. Oh, lets not forget the busine… https://t.co/5v5iFJ1jgG— Dave Coulton (@Dave Coulton)1551418155.0
@HuffPost He’s right. We shouldn’t look at our refund. We should look in his pocket, that’s where our money is.— Gobi Thillai (@Gobi Thillai)1551447971.0
But there was one thing Grassley didn't seem to get.
The Senator, whose net worth is estimated to be over $3 million, doesn't seem to realize that far too many Americans are forced to live paycheck to paycheck, and any disturbance in that unsustainable pattern could be financially damning.
@HuffPost Please explain that to my bank account.— Karen Mulcahy (@Karen Mulcahy)1551415521.0
@HuffPost You don’t live in the real world. Tax refunds for most people means getting rid of a debt. You don’t liv… https://t.co/o9R0LnenlM— MaggieMay (@MaggieMay)1551417302.0
@HuffPost Old man, talk to younger folks. 3/4 of adults live paycheck to paycheck They look forward to this bump— Michael Woods (@Michael Woods)1551401221.0
@HuffPost It makes a lot of difference if you are on fixed income and struggle from month to month— Renate mckeever (@Renate mckeever)1551403842.0
It would likely be more helpful for Grassley to work toward ending this pattern, rather than calling Americans stupid.