Months after Republicans, including Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R-Irvine), passed the tax bill into law, the average American worker has seen a decrease in their real average hourly earnings compared to last year. This decline is a far cry from the over-the-top promises made by Walters when she voted for the bill.
“Year-over-year, the real average hourly earnings number has dropped by 0.1 percent,” reports the Washington Post. Real average hourly earnings is a measure of hourly wages that factors in inflation.
Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Post writes:
Over the past year, though, [real average hourly earnings have] been flat — despite the signing of that bill in December. The tax bill, which Trump promised would serve as ‘rocket fuel’ for the economy, hasn’t led to any liftoff whatsoever in real average hourly earnings. Since December, the number hasn’t gone up; year over year, it hasn’t gone up.
According to an analysis from ThinkProgress, the drop reported by the BLS is “a change from making an average of $22.62 per hour last May to making $22.59 per hour this May.”
After Walters voted for the tax bill, she sent out a glowing press release promising the bill would “allow businesses to create jobs and increase wages for American workers.” But as the data shows, workers are worse off now than before the bill.
However, as earnings decrease, Walters’ constituents may see an increase in one aspect of their economic lives: their taxes. According to a recent analysis, homeowners in Orange County could see a tax hike of up to $4,500 this year due to provisions in the tax bill dealing with state and local tax issues.
Even fellow Republican Darrell Issa knew Californians were getting a raw deal with the tax bill. He said, “I didn’t come to Washington to raise taxes on my constituents and I do not plan to start today.” Walters, on the other hand, had no such reservations.
As a result, about one million Californians will be on the hook for an additional $12 billion in taxes next year.
Walters left Californians with a double whammy: higher taxes without higher earnings.