It isn't surprising that Democratic candidates talk this way, promising to soak the top 1% of income earners and leave everyone else untouched. But it is remarkable that voters still fall for it.
It wasn't that long ago, after all, that Barack Obama ran for president and made a similar promise:
"I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes."
That commitment not to raise taxes on anyone with less than a quarter-million-dollar annual income was a signature plank of the Obama-Biden platform. But the promise was broken. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), signed into law by Obama, imposed a penalty tax of $695 on any individual, and $2,085 on any family of four, who failed to purchase "qualifying" health insurance as defined by the Obamacare regulations.
About 8.1 million tax filers paid the penalty in 2014; another 6.7 million paid it in 2015. The overwhelming majority of households affected by the tax earned less than $50,000 in income, the IRS reported. In short, low and middle-income families, not the superrich, bore the brunt of the Obamacare tax.
A second Obamacare provision raised the threshold that had to be cleared before medical and dental expenses could be deducted. When Obama came to office, that threshold was 7.5% of gross income. When he left, it was 10% — another way in which low- and middle-income households were hit with higher taxes.
Both of those tax increases were eliminated by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which was passed without the vote of any congressional Democrat and signed by President Trump. Both of them would be reinstated under Biden, who has said again and again that one of his first priorities as president will be to repeal the "Trump tax cuts." He has also said explicitly that he would " bring back the individual mandate," including its tax penalty, that was part of the original ACA.
The 2017 tax law was denounced by many Democrats and Trump foes as a "tax scam," designed to rob middle-class families in order to enrich the wealthy. But there is universal agreement by tax experts — and even by reliably pro-Biden media outlets, as a roundup by Americans for Tax Reform shows — that the law in fact cut taxes for the vast majority of Americans:
In its fact check, the Washington Post stated: “Most Americans received a tax cut.”
The New York Times also flatly stated: "Most people got a tax cut."
CNN's Jake Tapper did his own fact check and concluded: "The facts are, most Americans got a tax cut."
CNN also stated: "In fact, estimates from both sides of the political spectrum show that the majority of people in the United States of America did receive a tax cut."
FactCheck.org … stated: "The vast majority (82 percent) of middle-income earners — those with income between about $49,000 and $86,000 — received a tax cut that averaged about $1,050.