Last week, the Senate unveiled its newly proposed tax plan, and the House will be voting ASAP on their own plan to
cut taxes for billionaires save the middle class. I know you’re already snoring, but this shit is important because unless you’re the current President of the United States, you probably pay taxes and should know where all that money that could otherwise be spent on brunch is going. The two bills will need to pass through their respective chambers and be reconciled together before they become law, which, in 2017 Republican terms, could happen anywhere between .5 seconds from now, and never.
WTF Is Going On?
Two weeks ago, House Republicans looked at the laundry list of items that America is dealing with rn, scrolled down to the very bottom past things like “gun control” and “rich, white dudes raping everybody” and landed on “tax reform.” They announced that they’d be rebooting the tax system for the first time in a long ass time, so naturally the Senate jumped in as well because they, too, would like to avoid discussing the weekly mass shootings we have going on these days.
This, on top of the fact that the Republicans have accomplished a whopping 0 things despite controlling all levers of government, has made them basically obsessed with cutting taxes before this Godforsaken hell year is out. Grool.
So WTF Is In This Thing?
Get ready for a bunch of bullet points you don’t care about:
· Both bills change the tax brackets. The Senate bill has seven tax brackets, as opposed to the House’s four. These brackets decide what percent of your income gets taxed.
· Cut corporate tax rates from 35% to 20%, but not until 2019. As if we’ll all still be alive by that point.
· Decreased estate tax, aka the taxes rich people pay on their bonkers inheritances.
· Removal of state and local tax deduction (income, property, or sales), meaning people who live in high tax blue states like NY and CA (hi!) will pay more in taxes.
· Standard benefit deductions for families increased to $24,000 for couples and $12,000 for individuals.
· Child tax credit boosted from $1,650 to $1,000.
· Elimination of personal exemptions.
· Expansion of charitable deductions, but you still can’t write off Girl Scout Cookies so who cares.
· The Senate is also looking to repeal the Obamacare individual mandate in their bill because if there’s anything the GOP is more obsessed with than cutting taxes for giant corporations, it’s making healthcare literally unaffordable for anyone who isn’t the CEO of a giant corporation.
Is This Good For Anyone?
Hell yeah, just not for you.
It’s great news for corporations, exorbitantly rich people, people who are still quite rich but maybe not exorbitantly so, pass through companies, and literal heirs and heiresses. So basically, it’s good news for the Trumps.
Who Is Getting Fucked Over?
People living in blue states would pay higher taxes, because we’re being penalized for being rational. Poor families would be worse off because Republicans hate them the refundable child tax credit is hardly being expanded, despite promises otherwise.
In case you didn’t fall into any of the above groupings, fear not, your life is being ruined too! Both the Senate and House plans would increase the national deficit at a whopping $1.5 trillion cost over the next ten years. Honestly, North Korea, feel free to take us out any day now.
The Senate at least had the decency to keep student loan deductions included in their plan, probably because they could hear my screams of anguish after the House proposed removing them and didn’t want to deal thousands of broke twenty somethings storming the streets DC just to sit down and start sobbing.
Trump wants a new plan passed by the end of the year. Similarly, I want a boyfriend by New Years, and it’s not likely either of us are getting what we want. While both plans are generally great news for rich people and no one else, the House and Senate have a long way to go before they reach a compromise.
Update: The House version of the bill passed with 227 Republican votes, and 0 Democrats. In the Senate, their version of the bill passed the Senate Finance Committee on a party line vote (fucking duh), and will now head to the actual floor for a vote. Sounds like an amaaaaze time to call your senators and let them know what’s up. Here’s how.
Remember – don’t call your ex. Call your senator.
Update 11/28/17: The Senate version of the tax plan took a major step forward by clearing a vote in the Senate Budget Committee. This clears the way for a full vote later this week, with many Senators who were on the fence about the bill deciding they like it now because like, they need to “accomplish something” or some bullshit.
Update 12/2/17: The GOP led Senate passed their version of the bill, which was a 500 page hot ass mess with amendments scribbled in the margins. This fuckery passed 51-49 along a party line vote, and was released only hours before the Senate was set to vote on it. So like, basically the Republicans treated restructuring the U.S. economy the same way you treated your freshman econ final: stay up all night throwing it together at the last minute, read about 1/4 of the book, and hope for the best.
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