In the middle of the night on December 1st, 2017, a tax bill was passed. This wasn’t just any tax bill, however. This bill is the reason for the national outrage this past week. The first I heard of it was through this video where Montana senator Jon Tester shows the 300+ page tax bill given to him, 25 minutes before he was supposed to vote on it, with illegible handwriting in the margins of it.
This bill was introduced as something to help the entire country, especially the suffering middle class. Sadly, that is not what ended up happening, and people are outraged. Here’s some reasons why everyone except the rich are unhappy about this bill.
It eliminates personal exemptions
So basically, people are allowed to be exempt from paying $4,000 for your spouse, yourself and your dependents. This means that you get to save that $4,000 from being taxed in your normal income taxes because you have a dependent, like a child or a spouse, so theoretically you could use that money towards your child’s expenses or whatever your personal exemption is for. The tax bill eliminates this completely, so that means we can’t claim exemptions like this anymore. This sucks, because a lot of people rely on these exemptions to help pay for their basic lifestyles. For bigger families especially, this will definitely impact them.
It also eliminates state and local tax deductions, including property taxes
This one means that anyone who lives in a state that has a high tax area will have to pay more in taxes. Basically, as a resident of a high tax area (like NY, CT, NJ or CA) you have the option to get tax deductions on things like property or income taxes. For a bill that claimed to do good things for the middle class, this doesn’t seem so promising.
It cuts corporate taxes from 35% to 20%
This is obviously done in favor of businesses, and again, for a bill that claims to benefit everyone, this is blatantly tailored to help corporations. Not to mention that this cut will cost about 1.5 trillion, but see below for an elaboration on that.They’re pushing this tax cut back for a year though, so it won’t take place until 2019.
Tax brackets would change
Tax brackets are the groups that people fall under, based on how much money they make, and that decides how much they get taxed. Through this bill, tax brackets would shift, and while this sounds great at first, it will add up after a while, pushing lower and middle income families into higher tax brackets, therefore taxing them more as time goes on.
It will increase the national deficit by 1.5 trillion
It’s not like we were getting out of our national deficit anytime soon, but this is a HUGE amount to be adding to the already large deficit we have as a country. And for it to not even help most of the people in the United States, we have to ask, is this worth it? Not to mention the fact that Republicans have historically berated Democrats for causing our national debt to go up, yet here we are, with their bill that will put us 1.5 trillion more in the hole. Oh, the irony.
By 2027, more than 75% of the tax cuts will have gone to the top 5%
Yikes. This could be because of the fact that most of the tax cuts that would benefit the lower classes have an expiration date, while the ones that benefit business and the super rich people don’t expire.
Here’s another fun part about this bill! It’s not all about tax stuff either! They decided to sneak some other parts in there that will affect our country in a big way. Here’s the highlights of those:
Tax breaks for makers of alcohol!
This one seems so random to me. The bill outlines a special tax break for any makers of beer, wine, spirits, etc., by reducing levies on imports or alcohol produced in America. I guess they were thinking this could help boost the economy, since this is a huge industry. It’s just so random that I actually laughed when I read about this!
Drilling will be allowed in the Alaska Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Companies have been itching to drill for oil in this part of Alaska, and Republicans thought this would be a great time to sneak that in there, hoping nobody would notice. They were kinda right, I had no idea this was part of it until now.
Anti-abortion language was used in the bill
According to a Democratic candidate for Congress named Omar Vaid, the bill describes unborn fetuses as people for tax purposes. The conversation regarding the possible repeal of Roe v. Wade has been a topic of debate since Trump’s inauguration. Sneaking this into the tax bill only furthers that agenda, which is absolutely ridiculous. Why are we including abortion stances in a tax bill?
It’s been a week, folks. The only people okay with this bill are the super rich, and the Republicans that helped pass it. If you think this bill is as outrageous as I do, let’s do something about it. Call your local representatives, your congressmen and women, and let them know you aren’t okay with this. Make it known, make your voice heard.
Here’s a great website to find your local senator:
And here’s another great website that has a script of what you say when you call! Easy as pie, and you are making a difference by doing this, I promise.