The 2017 federal tax cuts did little to boost the economy, according to the bipartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS). In analyzing the effects of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the CRS concluded that "the data appear to indicate that not enough growth occurred in the first year to cause the tax cut to pay for itself." Instead, on the "whole, the growth effects tend to show a relatively small (if any) first-year effect on the economy." The CRS observed that a 6.7% increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was needed to offset the revenue loss caused by the tax cuts. However, a combination of projections and observed effects for 2018 suggests growth of 0.3% of GDP or less, only 5% or less of the growth needed to fully offset the reduction of tax collections. The CRS further observed that tax collections from individuals increased by $45 billion, while collections from corporations dropped by $40 billion. The CRS also concluded that the tax cuts did little to increase wages. These findings by the CRS confirm earlier predictions about the growth effects of tax cuts, as discussed here two years ago.
Job creation last year hit its lowest mark since 2010, notwithstanding the apparently growing economy. According to preliminary statistics released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, businesses added approximately 2,055,000 jobs in 2017, less than in any year since 2010, when the economy added just about 1,061,000 jobs. The following year, 2011, the economy grew by approximately 2,091,000 jobs. The most difficult recent year for job seekers occurred in 2008, when the economy lost approximately 3,567,000 jobs.
Many non-partisan studies find no support for the argument that tax cuts spur economic growth. In 2012, the Congressional Research Service determined that the available data "suggests the reduction in the top tax rates have had little association with saving, investment, or productivity growth. However, the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution." The study noted that the "share of income accruing to the top 0.1% of U.S. families increased from 4.2% in 1945 to 12.3% by 2007 before falling to 9.2% due to the 2007-2009 recession." The Congressional Research Service is a legislative branch agency within the Library of Congress, and works exclusively for the United States Congress. The Services provides policy and legal analysis to committees and members of both the House and Senate, regardless of party affiliation. The cited study was withdrawn after partisan protests, but may still be found here on the website of the Democratic Policy and Communications Center.
In May 2017, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business polled 42 economists, and 72 percent agreed that tax reform usually results in a fall in tax revenue as a share of gross domestic product. In a preliminary analysis of the current Administration/Republican leadership tax reform proposal, the Tax Policy Center estimated that the proposed plan will reduce federal revenue by $2.4 trillion over its first ten years. According to the Center, in 2018, the average tax bill for all income groups will decline. However, the Center finds that taxpayers in the bottom 95% will see their after-tax incomes increase between half a percent and just over one percent on average. Individuals in the top 1% percent, generally with incomes above $730,000, wind up with the greatest benefit, as their after-tax incomes are estimated to increase an average of 8.5%.
Total spending on arts and cultural activities topped $1 trillion a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. According to the BEA's recent analysis of 2014 statistics, art and cultural activities also accounted for 4.8 million jobs in 2014, which amounted to 3.3% of all jobs in the United States. The BEA found that economic activity in the arts and cultural sector increased for the third straight year in 2014. When arts and cultural activity was measured for its contribution to gross domestic product, as opposed to total expenditures, the sector still generated almost $730 billion, or 4.2% of GDP. Gross output, as opposed to gross domestic product, is explained here. In core arts and cultural production industries, nationwide employment grew 3.8 percent in 2014 to a total of 1.02 million jobs. Performing arts and design services accounted for about 75 percent of all employment in the core arts and cultural production industries in 2014
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