Bill doesn’t cut taxes for middle class

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The tax bill does not cut taxes for the middle class. Free tuition of the children of middle-class and working-class families is counted as income, generating thousands of dollars of taxes on tuition costs of $10k-$40k per year. The $250 deduction for classroom supplies for teachers is eliminated.

The Senate bill eliminates deductions for property taxes and state income taxes. (The House bill allows a deduction for up to $10,000 in property taxes, claimed by about 30% of all taxpayers including half of middle-class taxpayers who make $50 - $100,000 a year.)

People who spend more than 10 percent of their income on health care could no longer deduct that amount, according to the House bill. About 9 million people, with average income of $55,000, take that deduction every year. People in nursing homes and families with disabled children often need that deduction to make ends meet.

The bills lower some middle-class families’ taxes for a few years. Senate Republicans made the tax cuts for individuals temporary, expiring in 2025, while the tax cut for corporations is permanent. By 2025, taxes increase for Americans whose income is under $50,000 and collect about the same from those with incomes between $50,000 and $500,000. Only those making over $500,000 a year will still see a tax cut by then.

President Trump has broken the promises about taxes made by candidate Trump, who said, “the hedge fund guys, they’re going to be paying up,” meaning they would no longer get a special low rate for their income. He repeated this many times, saying they are “getting away with murder.” Both the Senate and House bills leave that tax break intact. The most important promise Trump made was that the tax cut was for the middle class. Just two months ago, he said his tax plan was “not good for me, believe me” and “there’s very little benefit for people of wealth.” Don’t believe him. This month he urged a cut in the rate for the richest Americans and an end to the estate tax for inheritances over $11 million.

The elimination of the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that everyone have health insurance means insurance premiums will go up for millions of Americans, wiping out any tax cut they might get.

How much of the money going to the richest Americans will trickle down? If the past several decades are any indication, not enough.

Only 25 percent of Americans approve of the Republican tax bills.

If you are not a teacher, have children who don’t need to be educated, pay no property or state income taxes, have no health problems and don’t expect to, are not insured under the ACA — it’s still a bad deal. The increase in the deficit will endanger Social Security and Medicare in the future.

NANCY GERTH

Sagle

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