Ed Royce: Republican House Member Voting to Make His District and Constituents Poorer
Mimi Walters: Republican House Member Voting to Make Her District and Constituents Poorer

Kevin McCarthy: Republican House Member Voting to Make His District and Constituents Poorer

McCarthy Bakersfield


District 23: Bakersfield: South Central Valley

R+14: Safeness of Seat   
34%:  Percent of Returns   
5.9%: Percent of AGI   
$960 million SALT in 2014

274,000 tax returns in 2014
$16.247 billion AGI in 2014
$0.9595 billion deduction amount in 2014

47.6%: Income <$50K/year
19.8%: Poverty Rate
31.2%: White Collar
3.8% : Income >$200K/year

34% of tax returns in Kevin McCarthy's 23rd California Congressional District in 2014 would have been penalized had state and local tax payments been added into the federal income tax base. The total increase in the tax base in 2014 would have been 960 million dollars. We do not have sufficient detail to produce a precise estimate of how much taxes would have gone up—the Trump administration could, if it wanted to—but the rough ballpark number is 240 million: the Republican tax bill will, if enacted, take 240 million dollars a year out of the incomes and spending of Kevin McCarthy's constituents.

The relatively poor (for California) Central Valley 23rd contains only a small slice of people who are possible beneficiaries from the tax bill: 3.8% of returns in 2014 reported adjusted gross incomes greater than 200,000 dollars a year. But by the same token that was one-ninth of the number of returns that itemized SALT. While incomes, and thus state income taxes, and property taxes are lower in Bakersfield and its Central Valley surroundings than in highly-prosperous booming coastal California, adding people's state and local taxes to the federal income tax base would still take a substantial bite out of their budgets.

The Central Valley 23rd may well be the safest, least competitive Republican district in California. While highly enterprising and prosperous traditionally-Republican California upper middle class's concerns are not the Republican Party's core concerns any more, Kevin McCarthy does not need to care. Moreover, he is not doing the bidding of the House leadership here: he is the House leadership. The shape of this tax bill is in substantial part his strategic choice.

(Assuming, of course, there has not been a programming mistake in moving from zipcode-level IRS Statistics of Income to Congressional District level. Programming mistakes are easy to make.)

pdf version: http://delong.typepad.com/kevin-mccarthy-republican-house-member-voting-to-make-his-district-and-constituents-poorer.pdf