Questions need answers on tax plan
President Trump promises Americans a really wonderful gift for Christmas this year. Congressional Republicans are working at breakneck speed to reconcile the House and Senate bills to pass GOP tax-cut legislation. They feel a need to demonstrate to their base that the Republican-controlled government can work together to deliver on a campaign promise, something Congress failed to do so far this year.
Another reason to rush legislation without hearings or bipartisan support may be that GOP legislators don't want the electorate to have time to digest what is contained in the legislation because once voters discover how it will affect them, they most certainly will not be in favor of it.
Here are some questions to address before sweeping tax-cut legislation is enacted:
The Joint Commission on Taxes and the Congressional Budget Office estimate the Senate tax bill will have short-term tax cuts for everyone, but the following result in 2027: Americans making between $40,000 and $50,000 a year will pay $5.3 trillion more in taxes, while those making over $1 million per year will get a tax break of $5.7 trillion. How do you justify such a tax cut?
What affects did the massive Bush tax cuts, which mostly inured to the wealthy, have since the early 2000s on wealth and income inequality, stagnant wages, CEO pay and the federal deficit? Will handing out more tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy have different effects on these problems than the Bush tax cuts? If so, why?
Will the reconciled legislation double the estate tax-exempt amount (Senate version) or totally eliminate estate taxes (House version)? What effect will it have on the federal deficit and wealth inequality?
The current corporate tax rate of 35 percent will be permanently lowered to 20 percent. The current effective corporate tax rate is around 22 percent when tax loopholes are taken advantage of. Are any loopholes being closed with this legislation? If the loopholes remain, will the new effective corporate tax rate be about 5 percent? Why has Wall Street been absolutely giddy at the prospect of passage of the GOP tax-cut package, with the stock market jumping to a historic high Dec. 1?
Why are tax cuts for corporations permanent, but temporary for those making under $75,000?
Who benefits from elimination of deductions for student loan debt interest and medical expenses?
Who benefits from elimination of the individual mandate under the ACA, resulting in an estimated 13 million people losing health insurance coverage, further destabilization of insurance markets, and higher health insurance premiums for everyone?
With decreased tax revenues, who will pay for Trump's proposed increased military spending and border wall, plus hundreds of billions in disaster relief and infrastructure repair for areas hit by hurricanes, floods and wildfires this year?
Call Sen. Ron Johnson and Rep. Sean Duffy (202) 224-3121 to demand public hearings before voting on the proposed legislation to allow analysis, expert testimony and intelligent discussion on the provisions and probable effects of this legislation.