Facts vs Myths – Part 1 – The GOP Tax Plan will Help Middle Class America and the Working Poor


I posted this to my personal Facebook page in the early hours of the morning, Saturday.

Well, life is good for corporations now. Lots of tax breaks for them and none for those of us who are working the hardest.

  • Higher taxes on the middle class & working poor
  • End of a neutral internet
  • Racism inherent at the highest levels of government
  • Destabilized medical insurance markets
  • White supremacists being legitimized by the White House

Next up, Medicare cut by over 60% and retirement age goes up to 70.
Later, someone whom I’ve known for a little while stated, “I don’t believe any of this is true.”

I’m going to attempt to go through each one of these items then so that even the most intelligent person can see how each one of these bullet points is absolutely true. None of these subjects can be analyzed in a single paper, so this will end up being a 5-part blog. Those of you who insist on watching Fox News and MSNBC, please do try to keep up. I know that your attention spans are short, but this is important stuff.

1. Higher Taxes on the middle class and working poor

It’s true that under the GOP tax plan passed by the House and the separate plan passed by the senate reduce the number of tax brackets and the levels at which different income groups are taxed.

Here are the graphics of the tax plans [1]

The House Plan

House_Single_Filer

house_married_filer

The Senate Plan

senate_single_filer

senate_married_filer

Now – For the sake of discussion, we’re going to use me as an example. I make approximately $54,000 per year. I do not own any real estate, nor do I have any stocks, bonds or high-performance savings accounts. I have regular, retail savings accounts at 0.75% interest and a 401k. I have medical insurance and an HSA account by which I pay for out of pocket medical expenses. For 2017, my insurance and HSA will deduct $7,946 from my gross pay on a pre-tax basis. This means that I’ll be taxed on $46,054 of my income.

Under the House plan, I get taxed at the same rate as I do now – 25%. Under the Senate plan, I would see a slight reduction from 25% to 22%. This represents a savings of about $1,383 per year – or put into real world terms, I get bout 1 month’s rent out of the Senate plan where the House plan gives keeps giving me the Harvey Wienstein treatment. No one quite knows what’s going to happen when the House and Senate plans reach conference committee. Since there is so much difference between the brackets proposed, it could be just about anything. For the sake of discussion, I’m going to assume the worst, that my bracket will not change. Some would push the argument that no change at all is a positive outcome from this. That simply isn’t the case though.

You’ll notice that for the last month and a half, there have been approximately zero public hearings on the bill itself. Also, not one senator or congressperson had any hand in writing either version of the bill. It was written in whole by lobbyists[2]. Here’s why: Many deductions that were afforded to individuals will be taken away. Below is a video which simple, factual questions being asked and simple factual answers being given during a congressional hearing a couple of weeks ago –

So teachers lose. Both in mortgage and out of mortgage homeowners lose. Firefighters & police officers lose. That $46,054 now becomes a good bit more expensive because many middle class persons can no longer deduct things that are required in order to work and live.

Now the Republican argument is “Of course they don’t lose! Not one single additional dollar is being taken away from them by taxation.” They aren’t wrong, but this truth has a cost. Teachers in low income school districts have to buy supplies for their students. Homeowners now must bear the burden of high-interest home loans and high property taxes. Firefighters must bear the burden of having to buy uniforms and equipment. Students must now bear the burden of paying privately set interest rates on student loans. Sure. It’s true that not one additional dollar is being taken away via taxation. We’ll instead be pumping that money into an unchecked capitalist system that has zero interest in helping the working poor or the middle class. You know who isn’t affected? Corporations. They’re allowed to deduct whatever they want as a “cost of doing business” as demonstrated in the video above.

My taxes aren’t changing at all, so I suppose that whatever shortfall is generated by corporations deductions, I get to pay for.

I like to think that I am someone who is open to having his mind changed if presented with verifiable facts in evidence and tangible things that I can look at and demonstrate. So for anyone reading this, if I’m wrong, please do respond to me. Be prepare to state your sources and to put your reputation on the line to prove your point.

Based on the evidence that I have at present, my analysis is that the tax reform we have before us benefits only the rich and corporations.

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