Netting out

It’s inaccurate to say that Republicans in the House and Senate have abandoned deficit and debt reduction as a legislative priority. While their recently passed tax law reduces taxes in varying degrees on most American individuals and, consequently, increases the deficit by a trillion dollars or more over ten years, House Speaker Ryan, and Senators Hatch and Rubio among others, assure us that Republicans intend to pay for those recently-enacted tax cuts and pay down the rest of the national debt. How do they plan to do that? By cutting entitlements like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other welfare programs.

If and when these entitlement benefit cuts take place, only then will we be able to determine which Americans have more “money in their pockets” than they did before both these cuts, and which won’t. It will be analogous to getting a pay increase and a benefit decrease at your job. Only when the pay increase and benefits decrease are calculated is it possible to get a clear picture of exactly what our “take-home pay” actually would be.

Through this costly tax cut, Republicans “fed the Beast” with one huge last supper, intending to highlight the Beast’s increasing size so they can hype a case not just for putting the Beast on a diet, but for immediately “starving the Beast.” My bet is, that after individuals figure out what’s happened to their total income after their tax and benefit cuts are computed, most Americans will not like the net balance results.

Tim Mannello

Williamsport

Submitted by E-Mail

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