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Your Opinion: Tax 'reform' scam will poach other parts of budget

Your Opinion: Tax 'reform' scam will poach other parts of budget

September 11th, 2017 by Sue Gibson, Jefferson City in Opinion

Dear Editor:

My own hopes for tax reform would involve closing loopholes that currently enable corporations and the obscenely wealthy to pay far less than (or none of) their fair share. Genuine reform would impose a progressive tax to start healing the gaping wound of wealth inequality in this country that persists between those who do the labor and their overlords who belong to country clubs.

If individuals and small businesses are naive enough to hope to benefit from the president's tax "reform" scam, they should be advised of what they stand to lose in the trade-off. Medicare, Medicaid, and public education funding will be poached.

The president's plan proposes to give a tax cut of almost $200,000 to every millionaire, and only $240 to those who earn less than $45,000 per year.

Repealing the taxes that fund the Affordable Care Act subsidies will only benefit individuals who earn more than $200,000 in wages per year and those with over $200,000 in net investment income ($250,000 for couples in both instances). The resulting loss of subsidies means that more of us will be uninsured and forced to go without healthcare until we end up in an emergency room with something that could have been prevented, but now will result in loss of work and vulnerability to bankruptcy.

When Republicans talk about tax cuts, they disingenuously claim that small businesses will benefit, when in fact, under their working definition of "small businesses," 90 percent of the tax cuts will go to households which are among the top 20 percent of earners, and fully half of the cuts will go to the top 1 percent of earners.

The alternative minimum tax is also a target of the proposed cuts. Trump won't reveal his recent tax returns, but in 2005, had the alternative minimum tax not existed, he would have paid just 3.5 percent on $153,000,000 of reported income.

The estate tax only applies to people with estates valued at more than $5,500,000; so I am unmoved by any whining about the estate tax.