Screw'ged! GOP tax bill is only for the rich

Herb Boyd | 12/21/2017, midnight
Much more than a glitch or a do-over was necessary to alter the first vote by the House in its ...
President Donald Trump as Scrooge Designed by Amanda Ulloa

Much more than a glitch or a do-over was necessary to alter the first vote by the House in its approval of a GOP tax bill. A second vote Wednesday only confirmed what they and the Senate had done earlier with a $1.4 trillion measure now needing only Trump’s signature.

Trump and the GOP gave themselves a great Christmas gift, but many middle class and lower class Americans have been Scrooged, and there will be little joy and cheer from House or Senate Democrats, all of whom voted against the bill.

One line from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center think tank puts the entire measure into perspective, concluding that the top 1 percent of taxpayers, those earning more than $732,800, are in line to reap 20.5 percent of all the benefits next year in the tax bill. The nation’s richest and the major corporations will probably be celebrating with Trump and members of the GOP.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was particularly outraged by the passage of the bill, slamming the plan as “brazen theft” and one that “betrays the future and betrays the aspirations of our children.” She summed the vote up as a means to “install a permanent plutocracy in our nation.”

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer was equally upset by the vote and said the Republicans “will rue the day they did it.” He said, “Given the bill’s substance, it is no surprise they are in such a rush. Eleventh-hour backroom deals have managed to make their bill even worse. They don’t want to discuss it; they don’t want to have some light shed on it. They don’t want anyone to know what is in it, because it is so, so bad. And the public knows it.”

If the public isn’t aware of it yet they will know in the coming months as they watch the erasure of certain Medicare provisions, especially for the elderly. The bill is complicated in the sense that it gives and then takes away. Although there is a temporary reduction in taxes for families and individuals, it increases the standard deduction and the child tax credit.

Further confusion with the bill occurs when comparing taxpayers with the same earnings, depending on the composition of their families, how they earn their income and where they live.

An email from the organization Fulfilling the Promise of Opportunity stated, “As a nonprofit umbrella of nearly 170 human services providers in New York City, we are deeply concerned about the disproportionate and adverse impact the tax legislation passed by Congress today will have on the New York City and State budgets, as well as charitable donations, upon which our members and the communities they serve rely on for critical programs and services.”

Moreover, FPWA said, “The legislation is a broken promises bill that puts corporate shareholders over working families. It provides enormous and permanent tax cuts for profitable corporations and is riddled with additional loopholes for the president himself, authors of the tax bill and Wall Street’s wealthiest, all of which are paid for by raising taxes on many low- and middle-income families and taking health coverage away from 450,000 New York City residents.”

Congressman John Lewis of Georgia tweeted that he opposed the bill, citing it as “a $2.3 trillion holiday gift for Wall Street, the rich and the wealthy. Conceived in darkness and birthed with the help of donors and funders. This bill is not for the people. It is not tax reform.”

In effect, taxpayers are Scrooged.