Even with all of the cards falling in the Trump-Russia investigation, the tragic shooting in Texas, and President Idjut's sojourn out of the country this week, Republicans are earnestly pursuing their diabolical plan to relieve poor and middle class taxpayers of their hard-earned money in order to deliver that long-promised tax cut to billionaires.
Here we have Steve Scalise going on Fox News to tell host Sandra Smith why no one should worry about losing all of those tax deductions when they can file on a postcard, fergawdsakes!
First, the lie. “If you look at every different income range, you’re gonna see everybody in those income ranges get a tax cut," Scalise claimed. "What one person does versus another, as the Speaker said, we’re closing a lot of special interest loopholes."
Let's talk about the "special interest loopholes" they're closing.
- Eliminating the tax deduction for student loan interest, which can be deducted on short form filings up to $2500 per year, with more on the longer form filings.
- Eliminating the American Opportunity tax credit, which offsets some of the cost of going back to school for retraining.
- Eliminating teachers' deduction for out-of-pocket school supply costs. Currently, teachers may deduct $250 whether or not they itemize.
- Eliminating personal exemptions, which would mean a family of four would be entitled to a standard deduction increased by $12,600 while losing personal exemptions of $16,200, increasing their taxable income by $3,600.00, or $900 per person. That one was sneaky!
- Eliminating deductions for people with high healthcare costs
- Eliminating deductions for state taxes paid, effectively double-taxing people on the federal and state levels.
Those are some widespread special interests there, and that isn't even a full list of everything they're taking. The personal exemptions really drive me crazy because Republicans are the party of "family values" and all, but that apparently isn't enough to override billionaires' hunger for more money. Or maybe, just maybe, they don't hold those family values after all!
Scalise went on to assure Fox News viewers about what it would mean to implement the plan. "That doesn’t mean somebody will no longer be able to pay less in taxes, it means they just don’t have to alter their behavior. They are gonna be paying less in taxes because every rate will go down and we simplify the code.” Nice BIG LIE you're telling there, Steve. After your close brush with death, I had hoped maybe the fear of God would help you stop lying, but apparently not. I will refer you, gentle readers, back to that list of bullet points above which will increase taxes for everyone.
Oh, and did I mention that the rate cuts for individuals expire after five years, but the estate tax repeal and lower corporate tax rates are permanent? No? It's like zero percent financing for billionaires' tax cuts for the first five years, then a nice big increase in Year Six!
But hey! Never fear, little people. Never fear. Because you know what's so dang cool about having to pay more in taxes so billionaires can be greedier?
FILING ON A POSTCARD. That's right, Steve Scalise's miserable excuse for defending this pile of dreck is that we can all file our taxes on postcards while we're giving more to the billionaires with the feds as our conduit.
This tax "reform" bill is being rammed through without hearings, without discussion, without regard to the middle class white people who elected Donald Trump and his ragtag band of Congressional stooges.
There is no real reform in it. There's nothing that actually changes the tax system to be fairer or simpler. In fact, it will be more complicated for billionaires who have to cope with planning for pesky transition rules on the estate tax phaseout.
But hey, at least our taxes can be filed on a postcard. That ought to take some of the sting out, right? NO. Call your Senators and Representatives, demand they put the brakes on this until it's had a full debate and hopefully, defeat.