In early November, the new tax bill was released by House Republicans with the buzz of the bill being around the idea that this new tax bill would help the middle class. A new tax plan geared toward lifting the middle and lower class would certainly be beneficial to many Wisconsinites. Unfortunately for Wisconsinites, an old saying rings true here, “If it’s too good to be true, it usually is.” While the bill does appeal to middle class families in terms of tax cuts, the problem is that the proposal is simply a ticking time bomb that will expire in just 5 years. That means that middle class families in Wisconsin will be stuck watching their taxes increase in 5 years while the richest among us enjoy disproportionately large tax cuts.
Critics of this new plan point to the fact that the GOP could have chosen to overhaul the tax code in a way that benefited middle class working Americans, but instead chose to give the more impactful cuts to higher-income earners. The structure of the plan is that everyone gets a cut now, which is great, but what has lead articles to call this plan a “con-job” on the middle class is that the good news will only continue for the top 1%. The plan is a bubble waiting to burst, and the middle class will suffer.
Another issue hidden within the plan is that it eliminates the ability for individuals to deduct qualified medical expenses. While the IRS currently allows medical expense deductions to be used on a multitude of medical issues including preventative care, surgeries, and even long-term care expenses for those that are chronically ill, the ability to use this tool will be gone. The burden of these costs will fall not only on the patient, but also on the families that help pay for this type of care.
The new plan also provides new obstacles that disproportionately affect women. The lack of deduction on qualified medical expenses lowers the availability of preventative care, deductions and credits that make it possible to afford a child have been taken out, and the overall lack of emphasis on the middle and working classes will severely cripple the ability of single mothers.
Last week, Republicans in the House passed this tax plan and the Senate is expected to have their turn after their Thanksgiving recess. Now is the time to contact our Senators and ask them to reject the dangerous tax reform plan.
Mike Murray, Policy Director