Republicans leave middle-class behind in new tax bill

Briana Brady ‘21
Staff Writer

Late last week, as some of us were in the midst of Winter Weekend festivities, Senate Republicans passed their tax overhaul plan.

Both the House and the Senate have versions of the Bill, and the two groups have to sort out their differences in a reconciliation process before sending it to President Trump’s desk.

According to CNN, for individuals, the Senate bill will readjust individual income tax brackets, almost double the standard deduction, eliminate personal exemptions and completely repeal state and local tax deductions. Further, the Alternative Income Tax would be repealed, teacher deductions would be increased – which the House bill eliminates completely –  and repeals the individual mandate to purchase health insurance. 

Now, these are a lot of big terms, and some actions will result in positive changes (i.e. teacher deductions increasing), but most will only benefit select, higher-earning citizens. Also, those who itemize deductions will be worse-off than those who don’t. PBS reported that any family or individual making over $75,000 per year will benefit from this new structure of taxing, yet those making less that $50,000 annually will face overall losses.

You are probably thinking, “So, the President will benefit from this bill?” And the answer is yes. Trump and his family, according to NBC News, could save over $1 billion from this tax bill. 

Because foreign investors own at least $6 trillion worth of U.S. equity and fund shares and about 35 percent of U.S. corporate stock, according to Newsweek, foreigners will benefit from the changes more than all U.S. middle-income households combined. 

As President McCartney conveyed in an email message to the Smith student body, the proposed House bill would significantly impact higher education, and specifically Smith College. The bill would tax endowment earnings of universities and colleges across the country, and it would also repeal the loan interest deduction that supports those working to pay off student loans. 

This tax bill will affect every American in some way, but it simply disgusts me that the wealthy will continue to grow wealthier while those who so many are left behind. I hope that voters will remember the regrettable actions of Congress and hold them accountable when the 2018 election cycle rolls around.