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Letter to the Editor: Tax reform isn't easy

The Senate is about to vote on their version of the tax bill, which passed the House two weeks ago. When both houses have finished voting we will have a new tax structure. But the problem is that what has been proposed by both houses of Congress is a scam.

The bill cuts taxes for the wealthy while it decreases funding for Medicare, Medicaid, Public Education, Pell Grants, SNAP, Higher Education, health care and more. They say the huge tax cuts given to the wealthy will “trickle down” to the rest of America—that theory doesn’t work, and never has.

Since the first time it was tried under Reagan, the gap between the wealthy and regular Americans has grown. More people didn’t get better paying jobs and most of the money has gone to wealthy shareholders. What we will have with this tax bill is a total American oligarchy run by the wealthiest in America. Republicans are giving the likes of Sheldon Adelson and Charles Koch a huge tax cut as a “thank you” for spending millions of dollars to help them get elected.

Many will read that first paragraph and say this is just liberals talking because they don’t like this bill. I don’t have to say much though because it is all on the Republicans Ways and Means Committee website and the Senate Finance Committee website. These are the online publications written by the Congress who wrote this bill. They are banking on no one reading it, and even if we did most Americans don’t understand tax terms anyway because hardly anyone does their own tax returns anymore.

First you want to look at the budget, which will show you where all the cuts I mention in the first paragraph are. They had to make these cuts to be able to write the tax bill with only a $1.5 trillion deficit added. 

Then you want to look at the house version of the bill. The senate version has to jive with this or it goes back to the house. Other reading from the Joint Committee on Taxation, which is the nonpartisan group that is part of Congress that studies tax laws, shows you exactly where money is lost because of decreased taxes and where they will get more money because of tax increases.

You will see that the elimination of the personal exemption will bring in $1.22 trillion more taxes in the next 10 years. They don’t mention that the personal exemption is eliminated because that will cause families with multiple children to have an increase in taxes. Even with the expanded Child Tax Credit, which by the way expires in 2025, there may be small tax cuts now but everyone’s tax cuts disappear when the credits expire and taxes go up.

What do the already wealthy get?  In general when the AMT is eliminated, it means cuts in taxes of $769 billion and when the permanent corporate tax is cut to 20 percent, it cuts revenue by $1.329 trillion. They will also get a huge cut in the Estate tax, which will drop tax collections by $83 billion.

If this bill passes, the top 1 percent will get the biggest chunk and they’ll put back in their pockets. Low and middle income Americans will get small cuts or in some cases increases. Call your senators, Isakson and Perdue, and say “no” to this scam.

Bette Holland