CUT, CUT, CUT, but not your turkey

What’s being cut may mean you can’t even afford a turkey next year!

Tax cuts (but these are for the already wealthy) and health care cuts (for all the rest of us) all at once in a neat little Republican bundle. I would prefer the discussion be based on the fundamentals of the issue and not on the political party, but unfortunately these are the times I live in.

Tax Bill NO!

But let’s look at the issue. Highlights are mine. The numbers are from the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT)

“. . . taxpayers with income between $20,000 and $30,000 unambiguously suffer a percentage tax increase and reduction in after-tax income. Taxpayers making between $30,000 and $40,000 break about even. Importantly, matters are worse for the earning-under-$40,000 crowd because the JCT estimates do not include—even though JCT revenue tables do include– the reduced Medicaid benefits and insurance company subsidies these taxpayers drop when they are no longer subject to the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. The JCT for some reason counts these reductions in spending as tax increases in its revenue table (which helps Congress meet the $1.5 trillion net tax cut limit in reconciliation instructions), but does not include them in the distribution table (that is supposed to reflect burden across income categories). . . . [T]axpayers with over $1 million of income do less well than the middle and upper middle class. That’s a plus for high-end progressivity, but the underlying JCT estimates do not include the effects of estate tax relief, which primarily benefit the wealthiest.

“The Fairness Problem in the Senate Tax Bill,” by Martin Sullivan,11/20/2017, Forbes. FYI,  Forbes is considered a slightly to moderately conservative news source, thus this is not liberal malarkey.  www.forbes.com/sites/taxanalysts/2017/11/20/the-fairness-problem-in-the-senate-tax-bill/#68fe10bc67f8

How many of us will be joining him if this bill passes?

The United States needs tax reform, but this is NOT it.

So where does healthcare come into a tax bill? The GOP tacked on an amendment that repeals the mandate to have health insurance from the ACA. Sounds good to lots of Americans who despise the idea of someone telling them what they have to do, whether or not it’s for their own good or the betterment of the society as a whole. Stupid, yes, but it’s a cultural thing. However, if that is done, the Congressional Budget Office (and it is nonpartisan) estimates over 10 million Americans will be uninsured within 10 years. Healthcare costs skyrocket when citizens do not have adequate health insurance for a variety of reasons, so not only those 10 million, but most of the rest of us too will suffer financially from this.

Sorry, sir, no insurance, we can’t help you. You’ll have to go to the Emergency Room, but I warn you the line goes around the block.

“Tax day is the day that ordinary Americans send their money to Washington, D.C., and wealthy Americans send their money to the Cayman Islands.”

Jimmy Kimmel

One of my favorite quotes from reviews of my book, Voice of a Voyage: Rediscovering the World During a Ten-year Circumnavigation, included this last line, “. . . best of all it makes one think.” You can read the entire review and others on Amazon or Goodreads for Voice of a Voyage. My blogs are entertaining, but also, hopefully, will make you think.

“Thinking is one thing no one has ever been able to tax.”

Charles Kettering

 

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