Fox guest downplays lower tax refunds resulting from GOP tax bill: “People did not withhold the proper amounts”

From the February 11 edition of Fox Business' Varney & Co.:

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STUART VARNEY (HOST): Look at that number. The average tax refund from the IRS down 8.4 percent. OK, that's the first week of this year's filing, early days, I got that. And that compares to last year at the same period. Now it’s IRS data, down 8.4 percent. You're getting less back.


Look, people are getting smaller refunds, 4.6 million people who got a refund last year get no refund this year. 4 million people actually pay more April the 15th. I’ve got to believe that that affects the economy. No stimulus. What do you say?

DENNIS GARTMAN (CEO, THE GARTMAN LETTER): Oh not a question. I wrote about this about a month and a half ago that, because of the tax cut, people did not withhold the proper amounts from their weekly and semiweekly and monthly paychecks, and that after the turn of the year, they were going to be somewhat surprised by the fact that their savings account -- and too many people think of their tax refund as a savings account -- is going to be less than they had hoped for, so the hoped-for sales of washing machines, of refrigerators, of that sort of thing, high durable goods orders, are probably going to be somewhat impacted. This -- Really, we shouldn't be surprised by this fact, and I think it was absolutely exemplary to the fact that the economy might not be quite as strong as people had hoped and that the amount of taxes paid were not nearly as high. So this is a little disturbing, I wouldn't call it materially so, but it is a little bit disturbing and I think it is exemplary of what happens after a tax cut goes into effect and you didn't withhold the proper amount. 


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