With the Gop Tax Bill Complete, How Screwed Are You?

Fred Hamble
Dec 16, 2017

Whatever fantasies you had about an eleventh-hour effort derailing the GOP tax bill should be put to bed.

The historical $1.5 trillion tax cut engineered by Republican legislators (and written by lobbyists) is on pace to be reconciled by both houses and sent to Trump's desk as early as next week. 

President Trump even found some time between watching Fox News and tweeting gibberish to speak to reporters on Saturday, and address concerns about the bill being nothing more than a massive tax giveaway to wealthy individuals and corporations.

“It's going to be one of the great Christmas gifts to middle income people. The Democrats have their soundbite, the standard soundbite before they even know what the bill is all about. They talk about 'for the wealthy.' But this is going to be one of the greatest gifts for the middle-income people of this country that they've ever gotten for Christmas."

If Trump is gloating, then the deal is done.

But the question remains, who is really going to end up paying for the massive tax cut?

On the top of the list is the working poor and low-income families. Changes to the earned-income tax credit will cost them about $19 billion over the next decade. Additionally, changes to the income threshold for the child tax credit will disproportionately benefit higher income families, while reducing the individual deduction for personal exemptions.

Also spending more and saving less will be anyone who doesn't have a job offering medical benefits. With the repeal of the individual mandate, the Congressional Budget Office anticipates insurance premiums will go up, with as many as 13 million fewer people choosing to go uninsured.

The elderly and disabled will also have to deal with a 4% cut to Medicare. Republicans had promised to not make any cuts to Medicare while bargaining for votes, but Speaker Paul Ryan said last week on a radio appearance that Republicans will continue their attack on America next year by reducing spending on federal health care programs.

“We're going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit. Frankly, it's the health care entitlements that are the big drivers of our debt, so we spend more time on the health care entitlements because that's really where the problem lies, fiscally speaking.”

It is worth noting, however, that the new tax bill is not all doom and gloom.

Corporations will see their base tax rate drop from 35 percent down to 21 percent, and sports teams owned by billionaires will be able to continue building and renovating their stadiums with tax-exempt municipal bonds. 

After all, when job creators save money, the wealth always trickles down to the working class.