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Letter: Tax cuts just another try at trickle-down economics

The proposed tax bill before Congress right now is not only deceptive and underhanded, it is also cruel to the poor and to middle class Americans.

The myth of “trickle-down economics,” while a rallying cry for the GOP, is just that: a myth. In every single iteration of supply side policies, be it “Reaganomics” or the Bush tax cuts or the current proposal, both studies and practice have thoroughly debunked the idea that cutting taxes on the wealthy and on corporations creates any meaningful economic growth, and history bears out the dire consequences that such tax cuts bring with them. 

Soaring income inequality, out-of-control national debt, destruction of the middle class and crumbling national infrastructure are inevitable if this tax proposal becomes law, along with a devastated health care system thrown into chaos by instability and skyrocketing premiums. 

Congress and President Trump have lied over and over about who benefits under the GOP tax proposal. They have said that it is a tax cut for the poor and middle class, when in reality those earning less than $10,000 per year would face the sharpest tax increase, and many middle class families would either see a break of less than $100 or an increase in their taxes. 

Meanwhile, the wealthy make off like bandits, especially the president himself, who would benefit to the tune of millions of dollars per year if the plan becomes law. Wall Street would get what they’ve lusted after for years when Congress keeps the carried interest loophole, allowing bankers and traders to make tens of millions of dollars at a tax rate half what most of us pay already. How is that fair? Even abolishing the estate tax, a move which only helps about 0.4 percent of all Americans, is a shameless ploy to write a check to the wealthy.

And how do we pay for this? Well, the answer from Congress seems a lot like “we have no idea!”

This plan, in the absolute best outcome according to estimates from conservative think tanks, would add about a trillion dollars to the national debt. Where are all the deficit hawks now, you may ask? Well, they joined our fine Rep. Doug Collins, Sen. Johnny Isakson and Sen. David Perdue in selling out their constituents. After half-hearted and lukewarm objections to a plan that would send the debt skyrocketing, they dutifully got in line and voted for party over country.

When the biggest changes in a tax proposal are eliminating deductions for tuition waivers for graduate students, a move that would keep countless students from higher education, simply put, it’s a bad bill. When teachers can’t deduct school supplies, but corporations can, it’s just shameful. But I’m sure that the 13 million Americans who would lose health insurance under this bill would sleep soundly at night knowing that somewhere, a millionaire just got even richer.

Marisa Pyle


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