Why don’t you feel as though the 2017 tax cuts and Jobs Act helped you?
•Because unless you have very high income, the federal income tax rate cuts you receive are so tiny they are hardly noticeable. Folks in the top 1 percent income bracket will save $51,000.
•Because household tax cuts expire after 2025.
•Because you need to own stocks, bonds, real estate investments and corporations to benefit. The biggest winners in the 2017 tax cuts were corporations -— their rate dropped almost 40 percent, from 35 percent to 21 percent — and those getting dividend income from corporate profits.
•Because the corporate tax cut is permanent.
•Because you know the tax cuts, which mostly benefit the wealthy, are adding to the federal deficit. At the time of its passage in December 2017, the bill’s supporters claimed the tax cut law would pay for itself. According to recent Congressional Budget Office estimates, the law will add $1.9 trillion in debt from 2018 to 2029.
•Because corporations didn’t pass a fair share of their tax savings on to their employees in the form of bonuses and higher wages, or by using their windfall to make capital investments in their businesses, as the bill’s supporters touted would happen, but instead used it for stock buybacks, which boosted stock prices, again primarily benefiting the rich. The wealthiest 10 percent of Americans own 84 percent of all stocks. In recent months, the stock market hit all-time highs. Meanwhile, the federal minimum wage remains at $7.25 per hour, where it has been since 2009.
These are just some of the reasons most of us are not feeling good about the 2017 tax cuts.
Many Congressional lawmakers writing and voting for this law held investments that directly profited from the tax cuts.
Ask your Congress members and candidates if they support passing anti-corruption laws that prevent such blatant self-enrichment. Ask them if they support repealing the 2017 tax cuts and replacing them with permanent cuts that are fair to lower- and middle-class folks. Ask them if they support legislation that requires federal- and state-elected officials and candidates to disclose tax returns, supporting schedules, IRS audit information, and financial records from bankruptcy, divorce and criminal and civil litigation for public scrutiny.
Sunlight is the best disinfectant.
Jeanne Larson of Phillips
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