By Brian Henry
While some Americans have expressed surprise and disappointment after receiving less than expected tax returns, Grover Norquist argues that "refunds are not what’s important."
"What's important is what you actually pay,” Norquist told Cheddar on Wednesday. “The median income, family of four, $73,000 dollars is getting about a $2,050 tax cut. That cuts their taxes about in half.”
Norquist is president of the conservative advocacy group, Americans for Tax Reform, and has long defended President Trump's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which cut taxes across the board but largely favored corporations and the wealthy.
Middle-class homeowners living in high-tax areas were especially dismayed over the new $10,000 deduction cap on state and local taxes; before the tax reform was implemented, taxpayers were allowed to deduct their total combined state and local taxes from their federal taxes.
Nearly 11 million taxpayers are affected by the cap and could lose a cumulative $323 billion, the U.S. Treasury estimated in February.
Norquist places the blame on lawmakers in "incompetently run cities where governors have been spending too much money."
"The rest of the country has been subsidizing Chicago and New York City and San Francisco. That subsidy has largely ended,” he said. "They can’t keep having the very high taxes that they’ve done in the past and have other people pay for it."
Norquist also criticized Sen. Elizabeth Warren's proposed tax hikes on the wealthiest Americans, claiming that instead "when you reduce taxes, particularly the top rates, you actually get higher income people paying more in taxes and more as a percentage of the total tax burden."