Republicans boast their tax break with benefit families of four making $59,000 per year. They claim the average refund will be a whopping $1,182. The sound bites from the Ways and Means Committee makes this seem like a gift. But no one mentions what the tax reform will do for low-income individuals, unemployed, and homeless families or veterans.
The so-called bleeding heart liberals are genuinely concerned about the backlash of this bill. What is America going to do without the funds for social services that keep those disadvantaged groups alive? The current status quo attempts to keep them fed, housed, and healthy, but scarcely accomplishes to do so.
When the Republicans talk about this fan-effing-tastic plan they make it seem like this measly refund will “pay the phone bill for a year, gas for their car for a year, allow families to be financially closer to replacing a roof or remodeling their home, and more.” Paul Ryan’s proud grin when he spouts this garbage is nauseating. The average phone bill for a family of four costs more than $1,000 a year without data and roaming fees plus taxes and fees.
In fact, the average couple, two people, pays a minimum of $130 a month on Verizon, with some perks. If there is a crunch in the family’s income, they could defect from larger to smaller companies and pay less. Heaven forbid they might actually need a phone that works. Boost Mobile, for instance, costs $90 a month for two phones with taxes and fees included. That plan supposedly comprises unlimited data but there is a cap, and then the company reduces the data speed significantly.
In many major cities, the average rents for a one bedroom apartment cost over $1,000 per month. In 2016, Time magazine compiled a list of rents in 50 major cities. For example: San Francisco, $3,600; New York, $2,200; Los Angeles, $2,014; New Orleans, $1,298; Portland, Oregon, $1,095; and Phoenix, $909. Imagine the difference if a family needed two or three bedrooms and the cost of living increases between then and now. In fact, rents in Portland increased 0.91 percent increase in the last year.
The homeless population has seen significant growth. In the last decade, the U.S. saw a 79 percent increase in people seeking assistance with shelter. The March 2017 document produced by The Coalition for the Homeless, indicates that counting this population is difficult.
Do Republicans actually think everyone lives above the poverty threshold? It seems so. Perhaps they should read about this. The UC Davis Center for Poverty Research is an excellent place to begin. In 2015, 43.1 million individuals lived in poverty. Six percent of those existed in deep poverty.
In 2017, the threshold for a one person is $12,060 and for a family of four, 24,600, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Overall, the Republican tax reform only helps the high end of middle-class and the wealthy. Corporations will use the no tax on offshore profits and invest their money outside of the United States. The rich and corporations will come out shining with the lowest tax bracket.
What about the middle class? Do the Republicans really think that $1,182 refund is compensation for the reduction in deductions and discarded tax credits? What about the homeless families and veterans?
So far, it is evident the Republican politicians and President Donald Trump have never considered these questions. Why? The answer is simple. Anything that does not affect them, they do not see. Their sound bites and actions are proof.
Opinion by Cathy Milne
CNN Live: “New Day” on Nov. 2, 2017
Time: Here’s What an Average One-Bedroom Apartment Costs in 50 U.S. Cities
U.S. Census Bureau: Poverty
UC Davis Center for Poverty Research: What is the current poverty rate in the United States?
UC Davis Center for Poverty Research: What is deep poverty?
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License