GOP Screws America: Welcome to the most regressive and repulsive tax bill to ever come out of the US Congress.
In the dead of night Saturday (at 1:36am, specifically), the Senate GOP passed the most regressive and repulsive tax bill to ever come out of the US Congress. Under the guise of “tax reform” the Republicans in the Senate (including Florida’s own Marco Rubio) approved a plan that increases our national debt by at least $1.5 trillion, raises the cost of college for middle-class Americans, and adds 13 million people to the ranks of the uninsured. All to cut taxes on corporations and allow the children of the wealthy to inherit billions tax-free.
Even though it was presented as tax reform, this bill is actually a grab-bag of everything conservatives have been trying to achieve for the last decade but have been unable to pass. Repealing the individual mandate, the tax bill undercuts Obamacare, and will lead to an increase in the number of Americans without health insurance, up to 13 million by 2025. The Congressional Budget Office has reported that repealing the individual mandate will increase everyone’s premiums by at least 10% in the coming years. Other organizations have said the increase will be closer to 20%. Either way, these increases will more than outweigh the meager savings some working families might see.
And while they claim it will boost economic growth and federal tax revenue, this bill will actually starve the federal government of revenue so that cuts to Medicare and Social Security will be all but required. Senator Marco Rubio said as much at a conference sponsored by Politico magazine.
In addition to all of this, some of the more revolting provisions of this “tax reform” include the following:
- Teachers who buy supplies for their students out of their own pocket will no longer be able to deduct those costs from their taxes. Corporations, however, will still be able to deduct office supplies as “business expenses.”
- Workers who have to move across the country to keep their jobs will no longer be able to deduct those moving expenses from their taxes. Meanwhile, companies that move their operations to Mexico or another foreign country will still be able to deduct all those expenses from their taxes.
- Students who receive tuition waivers will have to pay taxes on the entire value of that waiver, even though they never put a dime of that money in their pockets.
Overall, taxes on the poorest Americans will increase by a total of $5.3 billion over the next 10 years, while taxes on corporations and the richest Americans will decrease by $5.8 billion. (Source 1 and source 2)
The most important thing to remember is that all the so-called “middle-class tax cuts” evaporate into thin air on January 1, 2027, while the tax cuts for corporations are permanent. This had to be done for legislative reasons, as a way to decrease the amount the bill adds to the national debt. They didn’t have to do it this way, they could have done the opposite, and made the corporate taxes temporary. But they didn’t, and that tells you a lot. Republicans claim their tax proposals are meant to help middle-class Americans, but their actions show their true colors. This is a tax bill is a transfer of wealth meant for corporations and the very wealthy, and them alone. The rest of us are left to pay the bill.
This so-called “tax reform” is not what Americans need. We need real tax relief for real Americans, and investment in the things that will build a better future for all Americans. We need infrastructure, we need college educations to get good jobs, and we need health care. And we can have those things, because there’s always enough money to build the future we want. But the Republicans in Congress don’t care about that. They only care about delivering to their donors. Well, we have a warning to the Republican Party: 2018 is coming. 2020 is coming. You will be held accountable for this monstrosity of a tax giveaway. We, the people of America, will take control of our country back from the corporations, their lobbyists, and their enablers in Congress, and we will build an America that works for everyone.
This piece was was written as a collaborative effort by Bill Radunovich and other Indivisible Gainesville volunteers.
Photo Credit: Mario Tama—Getty Images | Header Image Design Credit: Erin McConnell