Republican Tax Reform - Will You Be Better Off?

Everyone wants a little more money in their pocket. But when the political dust settles and 2018 taxes are due, will your family be better off?

Let’s say you’re single and earning $30,000 a year: tax experts project the Republican tax deal will give you just enough more each month to cover roughly the cost of a pizza and a coke!

What about a couple with a joint income of $45,000? They may get a tax cut of about $1350 a year. But that won’t make much of a dent in the big new expenses of the first child on the way. It sure won’t help them save for that son or daughter to go to college someday. And with interest rates going up, it’s not going to make it any easier for them, or you, to buy a home.

What’s more is that whatever benefit that couple, or you or I, get under the tax law will end in ten years. But the monstrous tax cuts Republicans gave corporations – with corporate tax rates slashed from 35% to 21% -- are permanent.

What does that tell you about the Republicans’ priorities?

Republicans claim they’ve delivered on their promise of a big middleclass tax cut. That’s like the Cleveland Browns claiming they had a good year! Overall, with the modest tax cuts in store for everyday wage earners, most probably won’t even notice a difference. Only the wealthy will feel the difference, because they’ll be getting tax breaks as big or bigger than wages of some of our neighbors.

The line we’re being fed is that it’s your money, not the government’s, so you should get to decide what to do with it. Sure! But under this tax bill, the government will have to borrow $1 trillion from China to balance the books. That part is left out of Republican talking points.

Our Congressman, Jim Jordan, voted for this bill. He’s the same guy who said, “we must change course and instill fiscal responsibility to avoid saddling our children and grandchildren with an insurmountable national debt” Unfortunately, this irresponsible tax plan increases the deficit by at least $1.5 trillion, which will definitely saddle our kids and grandkids with insurmountable debt.

If you feel like the Republicans’ tax plan is a big con, or a bait and switch maneuver, you’ve got it right. It’s hard to escape the conclusion that Republicans, working very closely with business lobbyists, designed the tax plan primarily to reward their donors.
Take Jim Jordan, for example. He’s raked in more than $6 million in campaign contributions since 2005, mostly from big donors, including manufacturers; finance, insurance, and real estate businesses; agribusiness; utilities; the construction industry; and lawyers and lobbyists.

These and many other business interests that have contributed significantly to Jordan and other Republicans are the real winners under the tax plan, not you and me. A tax plan so heavily shaped by and for corporate interests isn’t good for Ohioans or the economy. But it’s what our Republican Congress has given us.

So what should we do about it?

First, we need to repeal this misguided tax law and enact real, meaningful tax reform that will support the middle class, close loopholes in the tax code that allow Warren Buffett to pay a lower tax rate than his secretary, and finally get rid of tax benefits for the ultra-rich (Check out the tax exemption for private jet operation in this bill. Do you have a private jet? I know I don’t.)

Then we need to reform our campaign finance laws to take the money out of politics once and for all, so that government policies reflect the needs of everyday Americans and not big campaign donors. But before we can do all of that, we need to vote these folks out of office.

Feuding Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D.C. will have us believe that we too divided to make change. But we know we have a lot in common. We all want to work honorable jobs that pay a living wage and allow us to save enough money to buy a house one day or send our kids to school. We want healthcare for when things go wrong, and to be able to relax when things go right. We want our kids to be safe and healthy and grow up to have more opportunities than we do. With this much in common, we deserve reasonable representatives who will put country over party and enact the commonsense reforms that we agree on.

Janet Garrett2 Comments