The pending Senate tax bill will negatively affect most Americans regardless of party affiliation - except for the top 1 percent. It has two unalterable goals: 1) Giving multinational corporations a permanent tax cut, from 35 down to 20 percent. 2) Removing the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate requirement, cutting health care for 13 million citizens and thereby killing the ACA.
To pay for #1, these popular deductions will be eliminated: 1) Student loan interest. 2) Medical interest. 3) Home property tax (eliminated or reduced). 4) State and local income and sales taxes. 5) Teachers' personal ($250/year) expenditures for student school supplies, hurting students.
Further negatives include: 1) Tax rate cuts for incomes between $10,000 and $75,000 expire in eight years, resulting in higher taxes. 2) Itemizing taxes plus taking standard deductions - use one or the other, not both. 3) Eliminating or reducing federal historic building tax credits, costing jobs and canceling historic renovation home and commercial projects in Sioux City and thousands elsewhere. 3) Cut $25 billion from Medicare every year.
Additional gifts to the wealthiest include: 1) Abolishing the alternative minimum tax. 2) Reducing taxes on hedge fund income and private law firms. 3) Abolishing the estate tax (2017 exemption: $5.49 million/individual). 4) Expiring personal tax brackets - cut from seven (10, 15, 25, 28, 33, 35 and 39.6 percent) to three (12, 25 and 35 percent), giving incomes above $730,000 half the total tax benefit while raising rates on the poor.
Although details change daily, estimates are that the federal budget deficit will increase $1.5 trillion to $3 trillion, encouraging Congress to cut Medicaid and Social Security to balance the budget.
Call your senators. Tell them, "We deserve better." - Renee Weinberg, Sioux City