Representative David McKinley via MetroNews:
“We have a clear choice here: do we allow the status quo to continue, which only benefits the wealthy and politically connected?” he said in a release. “Or do we allow the process to continue and fight to ensure the final version is the best deal possible for the middle class and small employers?”
But is this tax bill "the best deal possible for the middle class and small employers"? A number of news sources have analyzed the bill with most of them depending upon Congress' nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) for their figures. One such analysis was done by the Washington Post. The winner, they say, is big business. As for the middle class:
Many of the people facing tax hikes are solidly middle class ($40,000 to $75,000) or else in the “upper upper” middle class ($200,000 to $400,000), JCT found. A key savings for the middle class — the Family Flexibility Credit — goes away after 2022. The House bill also uses a low measure of inflation after 2022, meaning more and more people start to jump from the 12 percent tax bracket to the 25 percent bracket (which starts to kick in at $67,500 for heads of households). Higher income earners are impacted by the elimination of numerous itemized deductions.
There is a small win for some businesses:
Small businesses get a mini-win. . . . But the reality is most small businesses — 85 percent — already pay taxes at rates of 25 percent or less. To help out the small “mom and pops,” the final bill has a 9 percent rate on the first $75,000 in income for business owners making $150,000 or less. But that tax break phases in, meaning it isn't fully available until 2022.
And what about wealthy taxpayers?
The rich do very well. The wealthy get a lot of benefits in the bill. . . . Overall, the Tax Policy Center found that half the benefits of the bill go to the top 1 percent by 2027.
Donald Trump would probably benefit a lot.
And here's Tony Nitti, who writes about tax policy for the business-oriented Forbes:
Regardless of how this House bill was framed, regardless of how many times Paul Ryan or Gary Cohn or Kevin Brady try to sell it as such, this is NOT a middle class tax cut. Sure, it looks like the middle class makes out just fine in year 1, but by the end of the decade, the plan is revealed for what it really is: a $900 billion corporate cut, a $400 billion break for non-corporate business owners, a $127 billion estate tax break, and what little is left over falls squarely in the pockets of the richest 1%.
Note -- the Senate bill isn't any better. From today's Washington Post:
The tax bill Senate Republicans are championing would give large tax cuts to the rich while raising taxes on American families earning $10,000 to $75,000 over the next decade, according to a report released Thursday by the Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress’s official nonpartisan analysts.
Do these Republican plans mean major cuts for Medicare and other social programs? A number of sources are pointing out that a deficit increase will trigger mandatory cuts in a number of government programs. As the Los Angeles Times notes:
As congressional Republicans move forward with their tax legislation, there are growing concerns that the costs, which are projected to increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next decade, will force a host of big cuts in government programs, including Medicare.
The Medicare cuts alone are projected to hit $25 billion next year, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, and would increase steadily by 2026.
Given the number of seniors in the first congressional district, I'm sure that Congressman McKinley will quickly become aware of this.
The congressman has also been a major supporter of historic tax credits which have contributed to Wheeling's recent mini-renaissance. The tax credits, however, were eliminated in the House's tax reform package. McKinley claims that the house leadership promised him that they would work with him as the tax bill moves forward:
In a floor speech, McKinley said he would support the bill with the understanding that House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, would work with him to include the historic tax credits into the bill as it navigates the legislative process.
I’m sure they will, congressman. (The House eliminated it and the Senate's version has significant cuts.)