Sluggish economic growth contradicts Rep. Walters’ tax bill boasts

Congresswoman Mimi Walters

"So far, we have seen few signs that the tax cuts are stimulating investment," says economist Diane Swonk.

In the first quarter since the tax bill championed by Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) has been in effect, the U.S. economy stumbled, growing at a slower rate than the previous quarter.

“U.S. economic growth slowed in the first three months of the year to a 2.3 percent annual rate, down from 2.9 percent at the end of last year,” reports NPR.

When the bill passed the House of Representatives, Walters boasted it would, “generate significant economic growth,” and she was confident that “the American economy will flourish.”

“During the last couple of years,” NPR adds, “growth was slow in the first three months, only to pick up again later in the year.” But the Republican tax cut was sold as “rocket fuel” for the economy.

Far from supercharging the American economy as promised, the tax bill is turning out to be a dud, giving Americans lackluster growth financed by more than $1 trillion of additional debt.

Earlier this month, the Labor Department announced a middling jobs report, with overall job growth continuing at a steady pace. Whereas Republicans like Walters made outrageous promises of massive growth, the Washington Post reported, “The three-month average of jobs created was about 202,000 — largely in line with that average over the past several years. (The average three-month average since January 2015 is 204,000.).”

Finally, there was no significant wage growth seen in the first three months of the year, either. Like job growth, wages increased at a steady clip, but at about the same pace as before the Republican tax bill. Walters’ promise of higher wages have yet to materialize, as shown by both this data and multiple surveys of workers.

While Californians won’t see dramatic increases in job growth, wage growth, or the overall economy, there is one thing Walters voted for that will happen: higher taxes. An estimated one million Californians will end up paying $12 billion more in taxes in 2018, thanks to provisions in the Walters-backed tax bill. Homeowners in Orange County will see higher taxes of up to $4,500.

Economists report the tax bill will “substantially increase the share of total federal personal income taxes” paid by Californians. In fact, one California Republican admitted “almost all of the bill’s tax cuts would be distributed to other states — leaving California with the bill.”

After months of hype from Republicans, the evidence is finally in.

“So far, we have seen few signs that the tax cuts are stimulating investment,” says economist Diane Swonk.