Tax reform

Two new polls released yesterday found that the American public strongly opposes the Republican tax plan that is barreling its way to Donald Trump’s desk.

A Gallup poll found only 29 percent of Americans approve the Republican plan, while 56 percent oppose it. Seventy percent of Republicans like it, but only 25 percent of independents and 7 percent of Democrats agree.A Quinnipiac University poll found similar results: Twenty-nine percent of those surveyed said they approve the bill, while 53 percent disapprove.

The new surveys show that distaste with the Republican plan is worsening as its details emerge. A week ago, the bill had average ratings of 32 percent approval and 46 percent disapproval in polls from five organizations.

In fact, FiveThirtyEight found that the current legislation to be one of the least popular tax-related bills since 1981 — even less popular than two bills that hiked taxes in the 1990s.

Despite the public’s distaste for the bill, which will accelerate the nation’s growing chasm between the haves and the have-nots, Republicans have rushed the 429-page “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” through Congress.

After a year in which the party has passed no major legislation despite holding majorities in both houses of congress, GOP lawmakers crave a victory before year’s end, an accomplishment to gloat about during their upcoming break.

Their haste comes with perils. The bill is so long and complicated that few of the Republicans who voted for it have even read it; they’re unaware of the devils lurking in the details.

The opposition of the public, according to the polls, is that the bill gives massive tax cuts to corporations and the wealthiest Americans, while offering only token and temporary breaks to the middle class and increases to the poorest citizens.

With the elimination of popular deductions used by middle-class tax filers, such as state and local taxes, the law will actually increase taxes on some middle-class families. At the same time, the law eliminates the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that every American carry insurance coverage or pay a penalty. That will further destabilize the already-frayed insurance market and accelerate the rise in premium’s.

Due to that part of the law, the new package will raise the cost of living for the middle-class.

What most Americans have yet to learn is that the new code, which was sold to the public as a move to simplify taxes, remains 16,000 pages long; it leaves intact the huge, inexplicable breaks for reliable political donors, which Americans of both parties consider to be a form of legal corruption.

Republicans plan to implement the tax plan incrementally, giving small breaks to the middle-class ahead of the 2018 mid-term elections and delaying the full impact of the bill until after the 2020 elections.


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