Looking at the Senate version of the 2017 tax bill

In this Dec. 5 2017

Tax reform perplexing on many levels

Voters should keep calling and emailing their senators and representatives, especially the Republican representatives who voted for the House version, until they enact true tax reform that benefits those who need it before those who want it.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) proposes changes to the U.S. Tax Code that would have devastating impacts on students. The alliance between Trump and congressional Republicans is sometimes an uneasy one, but it's based on mutual self-interest.

This is why Ronald Reagan, for instance, referred to this deduction as "the most sacred of cows".

The scramble to alter the bill came after senators said the chamber's parliamentarian had ruled that automatic "triggers" created to guard against big deficits would violate Senate rules.

This has prompted the question, what is the difference between the two bills? They are not quite mirror images of each other-but they are not far off.

Yeah, can't afford health care for people, but we can afford to lower corporate tax rates and cut taxes for the rich, increasing income disparity. Many economists see these investment incentives as a powerful stimulus for the economy.

Also, the last-minute inclusion of the Alternative Minimum Tax in the Senate bill could put other clean energy tax credits out of reach for the industry.

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By the way, the left also leaves out another impact of the tax cut that helps the middle class: a higher stock market.

Its advocates claimed it would simplify paying taxes.

The American Petroleum Council, however, praised the Senate's bill.

After being named to the tax bill conference committee, Peter Roskam, R-Ill, is working with lobbyists and billionaires right now to finalize a tax bill that's bad for his constituents and IL. But legislative staffers and tax law experts are already gaming out ways to adjust the state's tax code to offset the loss of those deductions and counter other changes to federal taxes. Under the House bill, medical expenses are no longer deductible and new mortgages are subject to a maximum of $500,000.

"We are still doing our due diligence on the letter and vetting our response or support through our tax policy experts", said spokesman Jon Hanian. Now, the bill is headed for reconciliations with the House's own plan passed last month. Today's effort will cost $1.4trn in forgone revenue by 2027, or $1trn, once its likely effect on economic growth is taken into account, according to an official score of the Senate's bill. However, if you're going to itemize at all, it just makes sense to claim as big a tax break as you can.

However, those making less than $75,000 a year could see an increase in their taxes, prompting Democrats to call it a "tax scam". The Center said that K-12 funding could be cut by $2.3 billion, eliminating grants to school districts for recruiting, training, supporting and retaining high-quality teachers and cutting support for afterschool programs in high-need schools.

Tax cuts once acted as the furthest thing from a third rail in American politics. However, they were not reversed. In 2013, under Barack Obama, they were mostly made permanent by a bipartisan deal, although taxes on top earners went back up.

The measure placed restrictions on the amount of income that qualifies for the lesser tax, based on the size of a company's workforce and the wages it pays. It seems that with the passage of the GOP tax bill likely, the Interior Department might allow the industry to hit the ground running.

Myth 3. The tax bill was given careful consideration. The current Senate bill completely eliminates the federal deduction for state and local taxes, a popular deduction in the Democratic-leaning states of New York, New Jersey, California and IL as well as many wealthy suburbs nationwide.

Notably, the Conference Committee's rules, generally, prohibit the addition of new provisions to a bill in Conference, as well as the elimination of provisions that are included in both the House and Senate versions. In November, 11 of the 14 House Republicans from California supported the tax bill. While the House plan to gut the credits was intentional, it's not clear that Senators meant to undermine them, so the problem is fixable.

But some Republican governors kept their ink dry Thursday because of reasons unrelated to the legislation itself. And the proposition that the burden of taxes will shift away from the rich is laughable.

Jared Leopold, Thompson's counterpart at the Democratic Governors' Association, said the 13 GOP governors who didn't sign the bill was evidence of a "huge divide in the Republican Party over this legislation". Readers of this column encounter various proposals aimed at creating the type of opportunity society that makes the problem highlighted by the 2012 Republican nominee, and experienced now by Trump, moot.

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