There has been a lot of mixed reaction to President Trump’s tax reform proposals and many supporters believe his plan will have cuts benefiting everybody including those in the lower income brackets. Opponents say that this tax plan is geared primarily to the wealthy and will be giving them even more loopholes. But what is the real story behind what Trump and his Republican colleagues in the House and Senate are trying to work on?
Business Insider did a breakdown on the proposed plan based on suggestions put forward by Trump and his aides, and this is what they say about it. First, the tax plan has a reduced tax bracket to four with those of 12%, 25%, 35%, and 39.6%. The plan has savings in some categories where the standard deduction comes in and how he would like to eliminate some penalties on the upper earnings, but the plan also seems to be eliminating benefits for itemizing deductions.
So how much will those in the regular middle class income category save? For those who file single and have no children, those who make $25,000 a year or less are estimated to save about $178 in taxes owed. Those who make $75,000 a year are estimated to save about $2,000, and those who make $175,000 a little over $4,000. Those who file jointly could see double savings with a $24,000 deduction. While simplifying the tax brackets and increasing the standard deduction could lead to some more savings, those who expect a huge savings gain out of this may be disappointed.
America’s infrastructure has seen better days. The American Road & Transportation Builders Association came out with a report that 61,000 of the bridges in the United States are “structurally deficient.” Think about that the next time you are driving over a bridge. The gas tax has traditionally funded road and bridge maintenance and improvements, but it has not been increased in a couple decades. Politicians are putting fear of losing popularity above keeping our transportation network safe for use. If this is the concern, then they actually shouldn’t worry. Congressional approval ratings are already about as low as they can go.
There was a time when we actually invested in our infrastructure because we knew it was the backbone of our nation’s economy stated Zeca Oliveira. According to noticias.uol.com.br
, People have to get to work in their cars, and trucks have to get product to store shelves over these roads and bridges. It literally enables modern civilization. That we are just letting it crumble does not bode well for the future of our economy or civilization. As pointed out in the article about this report, the number of structurally deficient bridges did go down from 63,000 to 61,000 recently. I am still more shocked that it is so high than relieved that it is down by a couple thousand. Even in times of tight budgets and fiscal dilemmas, our infrastructure is one thing we absolutely can not compromise on maintaining to the highest levels possible.
Back in 2012, the GOP sought to boost domestic oil drilling by launching a campaign to whip public support for their domestic energy policy and overcome Democrat opposition in the Senate & White House. At the time, they coined the popular catch phrase “Drill, Baby, Drill”. President Obama responded with derision calling the campaign a gimmick as opposed to a policy. It was misleading because the GOP was always clear they favored domestic oil drilling and completion of the Keystone Pipeline XL.
Now, oil prices have tumbled from roughly $4 a gallon to $2.13 a gallon nationwide. This has allowed voters to save “$100 billion in fuel costs which they can use on a variety of other spending priorities” said Marc Sparks . In fact according to the Dallas Observer
, President Obama recently urged voters to use their fuel savings to fund the purchase of a new car. Moreover, President Obama is now attempting to take credit for the lower fuel costs
It is true that over the past six years, America has arguably become the world’s top producer of natural gas and petroleum. However, a closer look at where the natural resources are coming from reveal Obama has no claim on taking credit. For starters, he has not issued a single new license for oil drilling on federal lands. During his entire presidency, oil and gas production from federal lands has dropped by 6%. A drop in production cannot account for the boom in domestic oil & natural gas drilling. So where is America getting its domestic energy from? Private land use. This has accounted for a 61% increase in the supply of domestic fuel.