TRUMP: "Blue-collar workers are doing fantastic. They're the biggest beneficiary of the tax cuts, the blue collar." — news conference Saturday at G-20 summit in Japan.
THE FACTS: Wrong.
While most middle-income taxpayers did see a tax cut this year, Trump's tax cut clearly skewed to the wealthy rather than lower-income groups such as manufacturing workers, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. It found that taxpayers making $308,000 to $733,000 stood to benefit the most.
The Joint Committee on Taxation separately found the tax cuts were particularly helpful to businesses and people making more than $100,000 annually.
LARRY KUDLOW, White House economic adviser: "The United States economy is booming. It's running at roughly 3 percent average since President Trump took office two and a half years ago. On this business about bad distribution, the blue-collar workers, the nonsupervisory workers have done the best. They're the ones running wages at 3-1/2 percent. Their growth and incomes and wages is exceeding the growth of their supervisors." — interview on "Fox News Sunday."
THE FACTS: There's some truth to the claim that low-income workers have seen better wage gains than others in the workforce. This trend predates Trump's presidency and has continued. But the blue-collar workforce has lagged behind lower-wage workers in pay gains.
Some of the gains reflect higher minimum wages passed at the state and local level, not just the rate of economic growth. The Trump administration opposes an increase to the federal minimum wage.
With the unemployment rate at 3.6%, the lowest since December 1969, employers are struggling to fill jobs. They have pushed up pay for the lowest-paid one-quarter of workers more quickly than for everyone else since 2015. In April, the poorest 25% saw their paychecks increase 4.4% from a year earlier, compared with 3.1% for the richest one-quarter.
But when measured by industry, wages are rising more quickly for lower-paid service workers. Hourly pay for retail workers has risen 4.1% in the past year and 3.8% for hotel and restaurant employees. Manufacturing workers — the blue collars — have seen pay rise just 2.2% and construction workers, 3.2%.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: "Eighty-three percent of your tax benefits go to the top 1%."— Democratic presidential debate Thursday.
THE FACTS: That statistic is not close to true now. The Vermont senator is referring to 2027, not the present day. He didn't include that critical context in his statement.
His figures come from an analysis by the Tax Policy Center. That analysis found that in 2027 the top 1% of earners would get 83% of the savings from the tax overhaul signed into law by Trump. Why is that? Most of the tax cuts for individuals are set to expire after 2025, so their benefits go away while cuts for corporations continue. The 2017 tax overhaul does disproportionately favor the wealthy and corporations, but just 20.5% of the benefits went to the top 1% last year.
REP. TIM RYAN: "The bottom 60% haven't seen a raise since 1980. The top 1% control 90% of the wealth." — Democratic presidential debate Wednesday.
THE FACTS: Those figures exaggerate the state of income and wealth inequality. While few studies single out the bottom 60%, the Congressional Budget Office calculates that the bottom 80% of Americans have seen their incomes rise 32% since 1979. That is certainly lower than the doubling of income enjoyed by the top one-fifth of income earners. And the richest 1% possess 32% of the nation's wealth, according to data from the Federal Reserve, not 90%.
BETO O'ROURKE, former U.S. representative from Texas: "That's how you explain an economy that is rigged to corporations and the very wealthiest. A $2 trillion tax cut that favored corporations while they were sitting on record piles of cash and the very wealthiest in this country at a time of historic wealth inequality." — debate Wednesday.
THE FACTS: The tax cut wasn't quite that big: The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that it will reduce tax revenues by $1.5 trillion over the next decade. And individuals, not corporations, will actually receive the bulk of those cuts — they're getting $1.1 trillion while businesses get $654 billion, offset by higher tax revenues from changes to international tax law.
The tax cuts did mostly favor richer Americans: The top one-fifth of income earners got 65% of the benefit from the tax cuts in 2018 with just 1% going to the poorest one-fifth, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.