Yesterday, the House Republican leadership shamefully rammed through a tax bill, H.R.1, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, that expands the deficit by more than $1.5 trillion over ten years, increases taxes on and eliminates important tax benefits for middle- and low-income taxpayers, raids Medicare and Medicaid to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy, undermines future funding for scores of human needs programs that women and families depend on, and drastically reduces tax rates on the very rich and wealthy corporations.
This is a tax bill that is harmful to most everyone who is not a millionaire or billionaire, and is totally unnecessary. U.S. corporations are experiencing unprecedented profits currently – they do not need the extra billions. The excuse that the GOP offers for cutting the top corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent is that reducing the tax burden will encourage investment and generate jobs. But there is no evidence that this has or ever will happen.
The GOP uses fake economic arguments to justify their bad policies, but women are not fooled. A nonpartisan analysis shows that, in 2018, more than75 percent of the tax bill’s benefits will go to the top 20 percent of households, while the bottom 20 percent would only receive two percent of the benefits. Women-headed households fall in that bottom 20 percent and struggle to care for their families – they would be the ones most harmed by various provisions in the tax bill.
Here are just a few of the egregious provisions in the House bill (many also appear in the Senate bill):
- Elimination of the personal deduction on income taxes, of the mortgage interest deduction and of the deductions for state and local taxes – resulting in higher tax liability for most taxpayers
- Elimination of the student loan interest deduction, of the deduction for medical expenses, and the elimination of certain child care tax benefits – adversely affecting families with dependent children, students, seniors and persons with serious medical conditions or disabilities
- Elimination of the deduction for alimony payments (meaning that women will be less likely to receive alimony awards in divorce settlements)
- Taxpayers would no longer be allowed to deduct most of their state and local taxes, putting pressure on state and local government funding
- Allowing designation of education savings accounts for an “unborn child”, part of a long-running effort to overturn Roe v. Wade
- Finally, the Senate bill has what anyone would describe as a “poison pill”— the GOP has included a repeal of the individual mandate under the Affordable Care Act, resulting in at least a 10 percent hike in premiums, 13 million persons losing health insurance, and the eventual demise of the ACA.