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GOP TAX PLAN - The Rape of the American Taxpayer

GOP TAX PLAN - The Rape Of The American Taxpayer
REMINDER:  You are seeing the fulfillment of the GOP's dream to gut your benefits to give bigger tax breaks to business interests.  Their next dream (nightmare) is killing your entitlement programs, aka Social Security and Medicare.  It's worshiping 'trickle-down economics' which has never worked when they tried in the past, including the Ronald Reagan era.

"The term trickle-down originated as a joke by humorist Will Rogers, and today is often used to criticize economic policies which favor the wealthy or privileged, while being framed as good for the average citizen." - Wikipedia

As I've said before, Republicans behave as if 98% of Americans are NOT worth spending money on.

"CBO report predicts GOP tax plan would hammer poorest Americans" PBS NewsHour 11/27/2017


SUMMARY:  Congress returns from Thanksgiving to face an extreme to-do list for next month, including funding the government and voting on a tax plan.  That comes on the heels of a public apology by Sen. Al Franken after allegations of groping women, and the decision by Rep. John Conyers to temporarily step down from the Judiciary Committee.  Lisa Desjardins joins William Brangham to take a closer look at the tax plan.

William Brangham (NewsHour):  So, CBO analysis is out.  I would like to go through with what this means for different segments of the American population.

Let’s start with, what does this do for the poorest Americans?

Lisa Desjardins (NewsHour):  That’s the big headline out of the CBO report that we got over the weekend.

In the past, William, we have seen analysis for how you do with the tax cuts portion of this, and in the Senate bill in particular, it phases out, for example, kind of in the out years.  And so a lot of Americans would see a tax increase at the very end of this Bill.

But what the CBO did is different.  It didn’t just look at the tax cuts.  It looked at the net effect, because, William, this bill is so large that it would likely trigger automatic spending cuts in various programs.

So, the CBO said, OK, let’s look at the combined effect of those two things, how your taxes would change under this bill, plus any benefits you get, any government programs that you get, any loss you would see from spending cuts.

And they found that those two things combined would have a dramatically larger effect on lower classes, people earning under $40,000, many times the effects we have seen in other analyses so far.

William Brangham:  And impact meaning they would be paying more.

Lisa Desjardins:  That’s right.  They would be paying a little bit more in taxes, but they would lose a lot more in benefits, as programs like Medicaid, maybe Medicare would be hit by cuts.

William Brangham:  Does the GOP agree with this analysis that this is really going to hammer the poor in America?

Lisa Desjardins:  What they have said in the past — it’s notable, first of all, that none of the Republican committees overseeing this bill responded to my questions about this today directly.

They usually do.  They’re busy.  But, still, we don’t know their word on this.  But in the past, William, what they have said is that the numbers actually don’t give you the full picture, because they say what they’re trying to do here is to cut taxes especially for the middle class.

And they say what is happening with the lower classes is, they have the biggest amount of benefits in the system, so what looks like a big cut to them is something coming off of already what the Republicans think are benefits that are outsized and a bloated government.

Now, of course, Democrats argue against that.  They say the lower classes are the ones that need the biggest amount of benefits to begin with.

William Brangham:  You mentioned this middle-class tax cut.  That’s always been the President’s main objective in this.

What does the analysis show about that?

Lisa Desjardins:  All right, let’s talk about where we are with middle classes.

The first statistic I want to look at is an important one.  This is actually from a different analysis, from the Joint Committee on Taxation.

They found that, looking at the Senate bill, if you look at anyone making over $40,000, all of the income groups over that, on average, would see their taxes cut for the next eight years.  Now, that’s a big deal.  That’s what the Republicans want to do.

William Brangham:  Sure.

Lisa Desjardins:  They want to cut everyone’s taxes.

But, William, the average really doesn’t apply here.  You can’t look at the tax cuts that way, because many millions of Americans fall into very broad groups whose deductions would be taken away.

Let’s start with one big one, the medical expenses deduction.  If you have a very large amount of medical expenses, anything more than 10 percent of your income, you can deduct that on your taxes.  So, say someone is facing a cancer diagnosis, and they don’t have strong insurance.  They’re paying $100,000 out of pocket.  They can deduct that from their taxes now.

The Senate and House bills would wipe that away.

William Brangham:  That’s a huge tax increase.

Lisa Desjardins:  It would be a massive punch to the gut for people who are already dealing with a major health crisis.

Then another group — we talked about before state and local taxes.  Now, this is also a very huge group.  Almost a quarter or maybe more than a quarter of Americans take state and local taxes off of their federal taxes.  Of course, this affects mostly high-tax states.  New Jersey gets brought up a lot, New York, but it’s also states like Maryland, California, Virginia.

A quarter of million American taxpayers would lose that deduction, most or all of it.  And so, when you say, on average, the middle class would see a tax cut, well, really, everyone is unique, and you see a lot of unique situations where the taxes might go up.

William Brangham:  The criticism of all this, of course, by the Democrats and some economists is that this is in a massive giveaway to the wealthiest Americans and corporations.  How true is that?

Lisa Desjardins:  Right.

So, I looked at all of the new data we got, including CBO's yesterday, and I compared it, looked at how much benefit you get or loss you get, combining all the spending cuts, the taxes, everything.

And, in fact, it’s true that the lowest-paid Americans would see the greatest harm.  And if you go all the way to the top of the scale, by many times, those at the highest income level, say, $500,000 and above, would see not only the biggest benefit in dollar terms, William, but also in terms of percentage of their own income.

And that’s per person.  So, it’s not a broad category.  I really dove in on that analysis.

"If you pay student loans, the GOP tax overhaul could affect you.  Here’s how" PBS NewsHour 11/28/2017


SUMMARY:  Both the Senate and House tax overhaul bills could make higher education more expensive for some students, though in different ways.  The biggest proposed changes in the House bill would end the deduction for interest paid on student loans, a deduction used by some 12 million people in 2015.  John Yang learns more from Danielle Douglas-Gabriel of The Washington Post.

"Under this proposed tax cut, big small businesses benefit most" PBS NewsHour 11/30/2017


SUMMARY:  The corporate tax rate is not the only important tax cut affecting businesses that's being considered in the Republican tax bills.  The pass-through tax rate affects millions of small businesses, and has been a point of debate and dealing.  Hari Sreenivasan talks to Jim Tankersley of The New York Times about that and who really gets the biggest cuts.

"Senate Republicans make 11th-hour changes in push to pass tax cut bill" PBS NewsHour 12/1/2017


SUMMARY:  Winning over holdouts like Sen. Jeff Flake, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters that Republicans had the votes to pass their tax bill, which could affect the U.S. for at least a decade.  But as the clock ticked down, the final bill hadn't appeared, and Democrats railed against the idea of passing something without the final language in hand.  Lisa Desjardins talks to Judy Woodruff.

"What were the last-minute changes to the Senate tax bill?" PBS NewsHour 12/2/2017


SUMMARY:  The Senate passed a $1.5 trillion tax package early Saturday, pushing closer to one of the largest overhauls of the U.S. tax code in decades.  But the vote came just hours after the final text of the nearly 500-page bill was released, provoking several, last-minute negotiations on the Senate floor.  Lisa Desjardins joins Hari Sreenivasan for more on what made it into the bill and what’s next.

This post first appeared on Mage Soapbox, please read the originial post: here

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GOP TAX PLAN - The Rape of the American Taxpayer


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