Judith Barnes — California
Giving a big break to the richest people in my opinion is not going to work. I know Reagan tried it and they called it trickle down, and I don’t believe it’s going to work. The big people who are saving money, they’re going to put the money in their pockets or invest in other things, all the Wall Street kind of stuff that doesn’t produce anything, it’s just gambling on a big legal scale. Giving them tax breaks may help them a little bit, but it is not the solution to the problem.
We need to get the money out of the hands of the one percent. Not all of it. They can make billions if they want, but they don’t need to make hundreds of billions while other Americans are poor. We’re subsidizing companies when they don’t pay enough, because the people who work for them have to get on some sort of welfare or food stamps, and that money comes right out of my paycheck. I make $3,400 gross and I take home $2,100. I can barely live with the price of food going up like it has in the past five years. Rents going up, energy is going up. I’d just like to see a straight twenty percent for everybody. Something easy, no credit, no loopholes.
Afia — Oakland
I don’t know anything about it, I’m very much concerned. I am a single person filing [as] head of household. I don’t know if I’m going to have to pay more taxes, or if I’m going to get a deduction. Am I going to get something back, finally? What about my student loans? Am I going to owe more in student taxes? Can I not write my student taxes off? Or what I paid, am I not going to be able to claim that now? What’s going on? I’m totally in the dark and I’m lost.
Phil — San Francisco
Once upon a time, as in the 1700s, we founded this nation on the idea of [no] taxation without representation. A footnote now. Now too many people don’t vote let alone know their congress people, or where congress has the purse strings and budget and the senate and so on. So without public participation, the oligarchy that is manipulating Washington, D.C., is making the rich far richer and leaving the rest of the country to struggle and suffer. Many other countries are moving toward flatter taxes, fairer taxes, broadening the base of the tax collection.
Sarah — Oakland
It’s very hard to find what I like because the primary principle behind this GOP tax cut is market fundamentalism. They believe all economic well-being is best served by competitive corporate profits and losses. Not by any government oversight of regulation or even wise government spending. So this tax cut basically serves supply-side ideology. Redistributing wealth to the richest corporations. And they’re seen as job creators.
This conflicts with the fact that no company creates new jobs without new demand. And demand is created by ordinary folks who are given higher wages. There’s no evidence that giving corporations tax breaks increases wages despite a couple of window-dressing events by a few corporations recently. People want to have to choose to buy stuff. But the market fanatics are really committed to their ideology and they’re no different really from religious fanatics or political fanatics.
The other added incentive for this bill, which is troubling, is that it’s political. The Republicans believe the Democrats buy votes by supporting necessary safety net benefits like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, food stamps. And the Republicans have to buy votes by giving tax cuts, and they’re puny to the vast majority of people. So the added political twist this time was to not try and buy votes to the base but to punish the most productive, high quality-of-life states like California or New York, who need to collect a little higher property and local taxes to maintain basic services we all need, like police, fire, garbage, and other protections.
So these states are punished by the elimination of tax deductions to those states. And this rewards states like Mississippi and Alabama who contribute very little to the national productivity or the national coffers. Lastly, borrowing trillions of dollars to give these cuts at a time when interest rates are low and infrastructure investing could be done very effectively, sets up a demand in the future when it doesn’t work for restoring a balanced budget. And this would mean cutting many many important long term public investments, safety net issues like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security. But also not improving and rehabilitating, bridges, roads, energy grid, education systems, water supply, public health, and defending protective agencies like the EPA. So in general the public good is betrayed.