Editorial: Republican leadership out of touch with tax cuts

Editorial Board

On Monday, President Donald Trump released his budget proposal for the 2019 fiscal year.

The document outlined $4.4 trillion in spending with increases for the military, border security and infrastructure. It proposes major cuts to domestic social safety nets like Medicare, Medicaid and the federal food stamps program known as SNAP and other federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency.

But fear not, middle and low-income Americans! The cuts in federal and state services many working Americans utilize in order to live with dignity and respect will be off-set by the latest tax bill as House Speaker Paul Ryan celebrated in a now deleted tweet.

Speaker Ryan applauded a public school secretary who saw a $1.50 per week pay increase on her paychecks—enough to cover an annual Costco membership. But, the juxtaposition of Ryan’s now deleted tweet and the President’s budget is cause for concern.

Ryan’s tweet shows just how out of touch he is with the American public. He is celebrating an extra $6 a month as his party, in control of the House, Senate and White House, is proposing eliminating government agencies and programs that citizens benefit from and, in many cases, depend on.

Furthermore, Morgan Stanley found about 13 percent of companies’ savings from the tax cut is going to employees, while 43 percent of the savings is going to investors. Moreover, many companies are offering one-time bonuses, not permanent wage increases, while the corporation itself saves big annually. Republicans, however, sold the tax cuts for the wealthiest corporations as a benefit for the general public.

Let’s put Ryan’s tweet and Trump’s budget in perspective. In 2018, a person earning more than $1 million will save $69,660 per year while a person earning between $20,000 and $30,000 will save about $180 a year. In 2027, that $1 million earner would be saving $23,190 annually and the $20,000 to $30,000 earner would be paying about $40 more in taxes a year.

Apple will save $43 billion in taxes; Trump wants to eliminate the Rural Business and Cooperative Service, the Economic Development Administration and the NASA Office for Education. Wells Fargo is estimated to save $3.7 billion; Trump wants to get rid of the Chemical Safety Board, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Humanities. AT&T may save $2.4 billion annually; Trump wants to cut the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

This tax cut wasn’t built for the middle class. It was crafted for the top earners and corporations.