How is “middle class” defined. The GOP keeps claiming that their tax plan will benefit middle-class Americans. But they haven’t defined the income range, until now. While the median household income is currently $59,039, the Republicans rounded up to an even $450,000. Just a slight curve of about $390,000.
The Republicans believe that “low- and middle-income Americans” make nearly half a million dollars every year. This isn’t just the Republicans showing that they don’t understand everyday Americans like they love to claim they do, this is deliberate misdirection. According to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, “It’s very hard not to give tax cuts to the wealthy with tax cuts to the middle class.” What is the logic behind this statement? It doesn’t matter since it isn’t true. There have been tax structures in place before that benefited lower and middle-class Americans without giving massive breaks to the wealthy.
The bill, which Trump calls the “Cut Cut Cut Act,” was mostly designed by the Trump Administration, and tilts the economic system to favor the wealthy. For instance, Ivanka Trump, the First Daughter and adviser to her father, will get an estimated $4 billion, along with her siblings. What is she doing now? Touring the country to push for the bill to become law.
Meanwhile, Paul Ryan is “really excited” about the bill, and even wants Congress to work through Christmas to make sure the wealthiest Americans get the ultimate Christmas gift—truckloads of Money.
But for all the money rich Republicans stand to make from the bill, there is another reason Ryan and Trump are pushing so hard for this bill—they need the win. Trump’s first year in office has been riddled with various scandals while his legislative achievements are nothing more than a series of disasters. He’s the least popular president in history.
And Ryan? He’s failed to achieve any of his goals since the Republicans took over the entire government in January. Most notably for Ryan, he failed to repeal and replace Obamacare. And to embarrass Ryan, Trump signed an executive order on health care. Even more so than Trump, Ryan cannot afford another legislative disaster.
So, Trump and Ryan need a win. And the Republicans are setting up a tax plan to make themselves wealthier. Even if they don’t understand what a middle-class income looks like, why does it matter that they are giving the top 1% of income earners such a big tax cut? Besides the fact that “trickle down” doesn’t work, the real issue is where Republicans plan on making up the money.
First, they’re going to cut Medicaid and Medicare, two programs that lower-income Americans rely on to stay alive. Already this highlights the problem with the Republican estimate for middle-class income. People making $450K a year will never have to use Medicaid or Medicare. In fact, it’s unlikely someone making $60K would have to as well. Either the Republicans don’t care about the people who need these services, or they are so out of touch that they can’t imagine being poor enough to have to use them. If making half a million a year is their idea of upper-middle-class, the latter is not only possible, but dangerous. And the people who will suffer the most because of these cuts is the elderly. The bill is also “full of landmines for retirees,” as Forbes reports.
Health services are only some of the cuts. We could write several articles on their plans to cut money from education, housing, even counter-terrorism forces. And even worse, all that will happen is that the national deficit will blow up by $1.5 trillion.
The Republicans either don’t care about low and middle-income Americans, or they’re ignorant. More than likely, it’s both.