Tax rate goes up for lowest earners

Published in The Mountaineer on October 27, 2017

A letter writer on Wednesday, October 25 made the claim that the Trump Republican tax plan would benefit those in the lower income brackets without any real proof. Apparently the writer accepted Trump’s claim that someone making $24,000 would pay no taxes.

That is a dangerous assumption since what Trump says is typically not true. He promised that everyone would be covered by his healthcare plan, but never proposed such a plan. Instead he then said, “Who knew healthcare was complicated,” and pushed a plan that would have removed health insurance from more than 20 million people – many of those being women and children.

The problem with the letter writer’s assertion is not looking at what the tax plan actually does. First, it raises – that’s right raises – the tax rate for the lower income earners from 10% to 12%. That does not sound like a benefit. If they would not be paying taxes, why raise the tax rate on lower earners? On top of that, the Trump tax plan would eliminate a variety of deductions important to the middle class as well as the lower earners. For example, you could no longer deduct state and local taxes from your federal tax return. If you have medical bills or have expensive medications, the medical deductions are gone. The list goes on. What little you might save from any lower tax rate is likely to be lost from the elimination of deductions.

On the other hand someone making $400,000 a year will get a tax cut from paying 56% to 35%. The people in the top 5% of income will benefit the most. Clearly the “tax reform” is really a tax giveaway for the richest. The vast majority of people in the middle class are likely to get little to no benefit.

Also, how does the Trump Republican tax plan pay for the tax cuts to the wealthy? Why they plan to cut Medicare that benefits seniors and Medicaid that benefits largely women and children. Paying for the tax cuts to the rich by taking away healthcare for the elderly and children. How is that for practicing good Christian values?

The pattern we have seen with Trump is that he promises things that sound great, but delivers quite the opposite. This has been the pattern from healthcare to taxes to the economy and to the environment. Only corporations and the wealthy benefit at the expense of working people.

Norm Hoffmann

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