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Letter: GOP budget, tax plan would hurt Georgians
10302017 GOP TAX PLAN
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., flanked by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., left, and Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, announces to reporters that the Senate is moving ahead on a Republican budget plan, a critical step in President Donald Trump and the party's politically imperative drive to cut taxes and simplify the IRS code, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. (Scott Applewhite) - photo by Associated Press

The Republican budget passed the Senate and the House on Oct. 26. Next they will tackle tax reform. Both these agendas, the Republican budget and tax reform, will negatively impact low- and middle-income families. Of course, that is not what you see on TV. According to President Donald Trump, Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. Mitch McConnell, it will all be great — really, really great!

You can find the reality of these measures by going to the Ways and Means Committee website for the Republicans. There you will find the budget, very long and very complicated. And your Republican representatives and senators are hoping you won’t read it.

It would be hard to talk about everything in it, so let me mention the part that will really hit home to seniors, especially since Trump said he wouldn’t touch our Medicare or Social Security. First, the budget would change Medicare to a privatized system similar to Medicare Advantage and cut funds for it significantly. Medicaid will be changed to a state block program and funds will be cuts for this program, also.

In addition, there is a plan in the budget to cut income security programs, including Supplemental Security Income, by $653 billion. SSI provides vital and much needed economic security for 8.4 million low-income seniors and people with disabilities, including children severe functional limitations.

The adopted budget cuts Pell grants and the education budget, makes deep cuts in the EPA and the Energy Department, and eliminates money for our crumbling infrastructure.

The underlying agenda in the GOP budget legislation is to undermine Medicaid and eventually privatize Social Security and Medicare. This budget would add $1.5 trillion to the deficit.

Then there is the tax plan Trump says won’t help him and his family at all. Really? Either he is outright lying or he is not too intelligent. The plan cuts the upper 1 percent of wealthy Americans tax rate by 4.6 percent. In Georgia, that means that the wealthy will see between $130,000 to $200,000 a year in tax cuts. The plan does away with the estate tax under the guise that it will help small businesses. Small businesses already don’t pay an estate tax; it doesn’t start until after $5 million. But Trump and is family will see millions in tax savings.

The plan also eliminates the Alternative Minimum Tax and cuts the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. That is all for the wealthy!

In Georgia, taxpayers earning from $38,400 to $59,600 a year, can expect an average annual tax cut of $260. Households with incomes below that range would see slightly less, probably from $100 to $150 a year on average. Three out of 10 middle income Americans will see tax increases.

They are pulling a sly one in hopes you won’t notice. Please read articles from Forbes, Georgia Budget & Policy Institute, Kaiser Family Foundation, Americans for Tax Fairness and then call your senators and representatives and tell them you know what they are doing and it will cost them their job.

Bette Holland

Dawsonville

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