A paper copy of the new tax bill passed in Congress by the Republican majority. Photo by Sevea Schuler-Hulbert.

As 2017 closed, Republican officials continued to rush their tax plan through the Senate. The bill was passed with a 51-48 vote on Tuesday, December 19, and it will have dramatic effects on all American citizens. President Trump signed the bill on December 22 in a last-minute attempt to deliver a Christmas present to the American people. “I told you we’d be saying Merry Christmas again, right?” Donald Trump said, according to the official White House website.

The bill heavily favors large businesses and the wealthy by creating permanent tax cuts. The website cbo.gov reports that many Republicans support this tax plan because they believe it will stimulate the American economy, even though the Congressional Budget Office predicts that this plan will increase the national deficit by $1.4 trillion over the next decade.

President Donald Trump stated that, “we must cut our taxes, reduce economic burdens, and restore America’s competitive edge.” This, would require ignoring the bills long term effects on middle and lower class American citizens. Many people in the middle class will get a temporary tax cut that will last until 2025; Republican officials have been heavily advertising this fact, but the cut that most average American families will receive is minuscule compared to the tax cuts that will be given to millionaires and corporations. For example, according to NPR, households making between $75,000-$100,000 a year will only benefit by about $1,310, where as households making more than $1,000,000 per year will benefit by about $69,660. This tax cut plan has very little benefit for people in poverty, as households making $10,000-$20,000 per year (which would be the average income in a household where one person is working full time at minimum wage) would only have a $50 benefit.

Many politicians support this bill because it personally benefits them, as many politicians are making at least around $100,000 per and would receive at least a 2% increase in income, according to NPR. Republican Senator from Utah, Orrin Hatch, supports the tax plan. He has expressed no consideration for those below the poverty line and was quoted by The Washington Post saying, “I have a rough time wanting to spend billions and billions and trillions of dollars to help people who won’t help themselves, won’t lift a finger, and expect the federal government to do everything.” Hatch is one of the many Republican officials who believe that tax cuts shouldn’t serve to benefit the lower class.

This tax cut will have drastic effects on America’s economy, and critics worry that it may not help those who need it. President Trump and other politicians who are in support of this bill, benefit from these tax cuts more than average American families. However, politicians hope that an increase in profit for corporations and the wealthy will stimulate the economy, provide more better paying jobs, and ultimately lower the unemployment rate.

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