In Blog: Factually Speaking, Tax Policy

Regardless of how much you love your family, the holidays are always stressful. The turkey is either raw and salmonella-inducing or dry and burnt, someone always gets sick, at least one kid has a meltdown, and someone’s feelings inevitably get hurt. The holidays, as fun as they are, are always a little uncomfortable—even if it’s just from a tight-fitting waistline.
Politics often get brought up and tempers flare—and federal Republicans’ tax bill that is their “must-pass” bill of the year threatens to make it worse.
This tax bill is moving fast (it has already passed the U.S. House), and there’s a good reason for that. Congress wants you to focus on their lip-service rather than just how bad the bill is. Much like a relative’s Thanksgiving mystery dish, Republicans don’t want you to know what’s in it and are completely ignorant of how little it’ll actually be enjoyed by anyone.

This tax plan will not help most Michigan residents—and the people who need the most will get the least. The truth is that this deficit-increasing tax bill gives massive tax cuts to the wealthy and profitable corporations, provides little benefit to the rest of us, and puts important services we all rely on in jeopardy.
For example, in the first full year of implementation of the U.S. Senate’s bill, taxpayers in the top 1%—those making more than about $515,000 a year—would see an average tax cut of $46,100. On the other hand, taxpayers in the bottom 60% percent—those making less than about $70,000—would see an average tax cut of $390. In fact, some Michigan residents could even experience tax increases in order to pay for cuts to the wealthy and businesses. By 2027, taxes on low- and middle-income Michigan taxpayers would be raised while highest- income earners would still enjoy fairly sizable tax cuts. (For more information on how the tax plans will impact you, please head over to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy to check out their analyses of the U.S. House and Senate bills.)

What’s even more surprising is that the U.S. Senate bill fundamentally changes healthcare for our residents. The bill repeals the individual healthcare mandate to pay for huge corporate tax rate cuts. This “sneaky repeal” is just as bad as the “skinny repeal” that was defeated earlier this year. With this change, 398,000 Michigan residents will become uninsured by 2025, premiums on the marketplace would rise by $1,520 for a family of four, and Michigan could experience a cut to Medicare nearing $1 billion.

Finally, the tax plan would drastically increase the deficit to the tune of around $1.5 TRILLION. As the deficit grows, federal lawmakers will feel the pressure to “right-size” the budget, and, believe me, this would mean cuts felt by all of us. This would just mean fewer Michigan residents with healthcare, with access to high-quality educations, with safe roads and bridges, with food regularly on the table and in their cupboards, and with vibrant lives. So in the end, we all suffer to make the wealthiest more comfortable.
Over the past year, we’ve had to fight many uncomfortable fights. But I’m asking you to fight one more. We can do something about the uncomfortable situation we are all in.
Federal Republicans are hoping they can catch us sleeping from the tryptophan and sneak this bill through before we wake up to see what it really means for most of us. We need to call our federal lawmakers and ask them all to go back to the table and create a tax bill that works for everyone. We can support our lawmakers who continue to lift up the problems with this bill. We can show Congress just how uncomfortable this tax bill makes us all, and we can and must stop it.

— Rachel Richards, Legislative Coordinator

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