Dave Brat brags about the Republican Tax Reform and says it will help “those that need it most.”
I want to know how making golf courses and private airplanes tax exempt helps those “who need it most.” I would also like to know how doubling the amount of tax-exempt inheritance to $11 million for singles and $22 million for couples helps “those who need it most.” Meanwhile, every penny of interest earned on money most of us try to save toward our retirement or emergencies is taxed!
Brat has been extolling that the change in the standard deduction will result in major savings for the majority of lower and middle income people, mostly because the standard deduction was raised from $12,000 to $24,000 for couples. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, we can no longer take the personal exemption of $4,050 per person, or $8,100 per couple, as a deduction. A family of four would lose $16,200 in personal exemptions.
Adding the previous standard deduction of $12,000 to the exemptions the family was able to deduct $28,200 in 2017--$4,200 more than the new tax plan. Millionaires are paying millions less in taxes while middle class people are paying a few dollars less and in some cases more. Tax cuts for the rich are permanent. Tax cuts for the rest of us will expire in 2025 or sooner and will cause our taxes to go up. How is the reform “helping those who need it most?”
Brat has stated that many corporations have handed out bonuses and given pay raises. One company he identified was Wal-Mart, probably one of the biggest employers in the world. Wal-Mart gave some employees bonuses and pay raises, and in the meantime, they fired thousands of employees and closed 26 of their Sam’s stores. A survey showed that only 14 percent of corporations said they would provide bonuses, pay raises, and hire more personnel because of tax reform. What the absolute majority is doing is buying back their own stock so that their profits will be larger. As for the unemployment rate going down, most of the new jobs are seasonal and temporary.
Brat gets a lot of free publicity from the media. He writes quarter-page commentaries which have been published in almost all local papers. Candidates running against him do not get the same advantage. Without an official title behind their name they have to pay for publicity.
The next thing on the Republican agenda is to make cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the Children’s Health Insurance Program in order to reduce the billions in debt they created by giving billionaires and millionaires large tax breaks. We need someone who will look at each bill carefully and vote according to the needs of his constituents instead of blindly following the party line. Vote Brat out of office before he does further damage instead of helping “those who need it most.”
Editors Note: this originally appeared in the May 31st edition of the Central Virginian, and has been re-posted on Blue Louisa with the author’s permission.