Myths about to give way to reality on tax reform plan
In just a couple weeks, the tax cuts and tax reform pushed by President Donald Trump and his administration and passed by Congress will start to show up in paychecks.
It will be interesting to track the reception to the real results, particularly in light of the changes being promoted by critics as nothing more than a tax break for the very rich among us.
Much of the steam for that claim rests with the corporate tax cut from 35 percent – highest in the world – to a more competitive 22 percent. Conveniently left out of that thinking is the logic that, armed with the more favorable tax climate, businesses will be in a position to expand and hire more people and will be more likely to maintain locations in the United States and return some operations from other countries.
More of the steam was taken out of that claim when the likes of Comcast, Boeing, AT&T, Wells Fargo and Fifth Third Bank immediately began passing out $1,000 bonuses to employees.
As individual tax cuts for the upper income brackets, those people already pay between two-thirds and 80 percent – depending on the measuring stick – of the taxes in this country. So an across-the-board tax cut was bound to benefit them somewhat.
And it is an across-the-board tax cut, reducing income tax levels at every individual level, doubling the start deduction and the child tax credit and eliminating the Obamacare individual mandate.
Doubling the standard deduction to $12,000 single individuals and $24,000 for married couples and $18,000 for single parents is a tax cut for those most in need in our country. There’s just no other way to spin it.
According to the Tax Foundation, the average Pennsylvania family will see an estimated gain of $2,683 in after-tax income.
That’s real money for those people and those families that will either give them some breathing room in their budget and extra income to save toward a college education for their kids or spend back into the economy.
We understand these are partisan times. We understand political differences. And we know the proof is in the pudding, as the cliche goes.
But the spirit behind this reformed tax plan and the parameters it addresses clearly would have received more backing if votes weren’t being cast simply as part of a contrived political resistance meant to make one side appear ineffective.
We pray for the day when an idea that is good for all Americans can be viewed as just that – not some sort of political episode.