Rep. Abraham says tax cuts will be good, economists have doubts

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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Republicans in Congress see good news on the horizon as their tax plan is expected to land on the president's desk as soon as tomorrow. Tuesday, Louisiana lawmakers weighed in.

KNOE talked with Congressman Ralph Abraham who says, despite analysis to the contrary, this bill will be a win for people across the country and in Louisiana.

"With this tax bill you're going to have more money in your pockets," Abraham says. "That's just period."

The jury is still out on that though. The tax bill will double the standard deduction. Which means in the first few years, everyone will see a cut but some people will see more than others. Analysis from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy says the wealthy are the winners here.

"Under this bill, the benefits are skewed toward the wealthiest taxpayers. In 2019 more than half of the benefits of the bill would go to the richest 5 percent of taxpayers," says Steve Wamhoff, Senior Fellow at the Institute On Taxation And Economic Policy.

The other issue is the tax cut provisions are set to expire in 10 years. In fact, that same analysis says that by 2027 everyone in Louisiana will be paying more on their taxes except the top 20 percent of taxpayers. But Abraham says the bill will help the economy in such a way that the cuts will get renewed.

"By that time, the economy will be much, much stronger than it is now, I predict, and we will simply, you know, redo the bill. It's that simple."

That's the hope, anyway. As Republicans are banking on economic growth to offset the 1 .4 trillion dollar price tag of the plan. Experts say it's another attempt at trickle down economics.

"They have really tried to claim that if we cut taxes for corporations that will trickle down to ordinary people, middle-income people. There's not really any evidence that that is true, that hasn't really happened in the past and we can't really expect that to happen now," says Steve Wamhoff.