Winners and losers in the tax bill

To the Editor:

Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis stand poised to vote for the current Republican tax bill in Congress. But their past public pronouncements clash with its provisions.

Recently Sen. Burr said that “middle-class Americans can keep more of their hard-earned dollars.” But economic research indicates that proposed elimination of deductions for high mortgages, state and local taxes, and large medical expenses could actually raise taxes for many working families.

Sen. Tillis insists that “one of the greatest threats to the U.S. economy and national security is our national debt.” Yet the GOP plan, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), would increase the debt by $1.7 trillion.

NC Policy Watch reported that, “In North Carolina, analysis shows that 50 percent of the federal tax cuts would go to the richest 5 percent of residents and 13 percent of households would face a tax increase, once the bill is fully implemented.”

If this Republican “wealth transfer” plan passes, the CBO also notes that Medicare would be cut by $25 billion. The Senate bill would also eliminate the Affordable Care Act individual mandate, raising premiums and likely forcing 13 million people off their healthcare insurance.

Current polls indicate less than 25 percent of voters favor this bill. Once again, however, Burr and Tillis talk “tax reform” but support unpopular policies that make their constituents’ lives harder.

Frank L. Fox

Asheville

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