Senate should not support the tax bill

I strongly encourage Marietta Times readers to contact Senator Rob Portman and urge him to vote against the Senate Tax Bill, a.k.a. the Tax Cuts and Job Acts Bill that the Senate is currently considering. The reasons are legion. First of all, at this writing as the Senate is accelerating this bill for a vote this week, there have been no hearings on this important legislation; something that affects so many people and that involves so much money needs more review, input for various groups, and discussion in congressional committees.

What is patently unfair about the bill is that individual tax cuts are set to be phased out, but corporate taxes are permanent. If the Senate eventually decides to make the individual tax cuts permanent, however, then the plan will balloon the deficit with a half trillion dollar increment. Even in its current form the plan will be a budget breaker by expanding the federal deficit in an unprecedented fashion.

The bill further favors corporations over small businesses and pass-through organizations. The engine of economic growth and innovation in the U.S. is small business, and these entrepreneurs should not be shortchanged in this tax-cut package.

The elimination of the deductibility of interest on student debt will surely discourage young people from seeking college degrees at a time when our economy needs more people with college degrees.

By including repeal of the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act, the bill will end health insurance coverage for about 13 million people. Such an outcome would be a heartless consequence of this legislation, especially when one considers that this sacrifice of health-care coverage is done to provide tax benefits to big businesses and wealthy individuals.

The claim is made about this bill that it will create jobs. But there is no pattern of evidence — from any objective sources — that tax cuts for large businesses will help to create jobs. A recent panel of CEOs held by the Wall Street Journal revealed that these business leaders will not readily increase jobs and investment when the tax rates for their corporations are cut to 20 percent. Current estimates are that the average corporation pays about 16 percent in taxes because of loopholes that its tax experts and attorneys can identify and utilize. All the tax cuts implemented during the George W. Bush era brought us was the recession of 2008. Businesses are doing quite well now without a tax cut. Let’s find another way to make the tax system more fair, simple, and expeditious than the so-called Tax Cuts & Jobs Act.

George Banziger