Senate tax plan would penalize mormon families editorial electricity distribution vs transmission


Mormon families include more than three children, on average. American women in general have fewer than two children each. In keeping with the principles of their church, Mormons give away 10 percent of their income —the average American donates about 3 percent.

The Senate tax plan would raise taxes on many larger, more generous middle-class families to help pay for trillions of dollars in tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations. The Senate tax plan already has passed committee and is expected to go to a full Senate vote the week after the Thanksgiving recess.

Here in Arizona, about 15 percent of Arizona households making between $39,000 and $210,000 per year would see their taxes increase, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. The roughly 30,000 taxpayers that make up the state’s Top 1 percent would get 31 percent of the tax cuts, pocketing on average $38,000 a year extra.

Larger families would suffer from the elimination of the personal exemption. That exemption allows taxpayers to reduce their reportable income in 2018 by $4,150 per family member. For a couple with three children — a standard Arizona Mormon family — that equals $20,750 (5 multiplied by $4,150).

But consider that Mormon family of five. Through a combination of the personal exemption and standard deduction, it can reduce reportable income in 2018 by a total of $33,550 ($20,750 in personal exemptions plus the $12,800 standard deduction). Under the GOP plan, that figure would fall to $24,000—a loss of nearly $10,000 in valuable tax breaks.

Plan writers say that loss is made up by lower tax brackets and a larger child tax credit. But the credit only applies for children 16 and under. From the year in which a child turns 17 through the year he graduates from college, the child credit would be unavailable. And the lower tax brackets are set to expire after 2025.

Mormons undoubtedly would continue to give no matter the tax implications. But by eliminating SALT and many other deductions, the Senate tax plan would make the deduction for charitable contributions (which would remain on the books) unusable for many families.

Gifts to charity can only be deducted if the taxpayer itemizes deductions, and that only makes sense if itemized deductions exceed the standard deduction. With so many fewer itemized deductions available and a bigger standard deduction, the tax value of charitable contributions disappears for most families.

Increasing the after-tax cost of charitable giving couldn’t happen at a worse time: many working families will have no place to turn but charity in the face of massive cuts to vital public services outlined in the GOP budget the Senate passed last month. These budget cuts are another way, along with the middle-class tax hikes, that Trump and other Republican leaders plan to pay for their tax cuts for millionaires and large corporations.

It’s not too late to shield the large, charitable Mormon families of Arizona from picking up an unfair share of the tab for huge tax cuts given to the richest 1 percent and corporations. By voting “no” on the proposed Senate budget when it comes up for a vote, our two independent-minded U.S. senators can not only stop the budget cuts, but the misguided tax plan as well.

Nice commentary, guys. I have just finished reading a new book: ‘The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump’, Brandy Lee, M.D., which brings together scientific papers of 27 of our nation’s most eminent professionals in the field of neuroscience, all of whom warn that DJT is wildly sick and dangerous. Last night another well known physician appeared on national TV to robustly proclaim the same thing. The massive, provable lying about this horrific tax bill now infects many pathetic congressman and cabinet members who have ejected their moral principles and lost all contact with reality in their zealotry to pass something this year–ANYTHING!

This onerous bill will increase taxes for anyone earning between$10,000 and $75,000 as well as parents with children who earn less than $100,000 while funneling trillions into the pockets of the wealthy and the big corps. It will be the biggest redistribution of wealth from the bottom to the top in our history. The mid-term election is just 11 months away guys. Everyone needs to grieve, regroup and fight back.

The bill passed by the senate last night will add over a trillion dollars to the public debt, increase taxes on the middle class, devastate the poor, further enrich the already wealthy, benefit big corporations, and begin the destruction of Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid and the ACA. Falsehoods: 1. The bill decreases taxes on the middle class. TRUTH: While there will be short term minor benefits to a few of the middle class, their taxes will increase over the ten year term of the bill. 2. Repatriation of 4$ trillions now abroad will create jobs. TRUTH: Corporate profits are now at an all time high and big business is running decks-awash in cash. Past experience shows that repatriated cash will go for buy-backs, dividends and increased wealth for the already wealthy. 3. The already overheated economy will be increased to >3%. TRUTH: That is mathematically impossible according to the law of compounded increase. 4. The bill will increase wages. TRUTH: The economy is already at full employment. Even if wages were to increase, the result would be inflation which would result in tightening by the FED and likely recession; otherwise, any such increase would have to result in layoffs. Real economic growth occurs only when productivity increases faster than wages. Nothing in this bill increases productivity, especially in the face of severe slashing of R&D funding. The answer to this conundrum is to realign the economy such that a higher percentage of productivity gains goes to labor rather than to capital. 5. Other effects will be benign. TRUTH: Because of the "Pay-go" law, the deficit increases will trigger automatic reductions of hundreds of billions for social safety net programs and increase poverty and suffering. 6. Tax cuts are necessary to improve competitiveness. TRUTH: Corporate profits are at an all-time high. Over 100 highly profitable corporations pay no federal corporate income taxes. There is no need for such cuts. 7. Corporate tax cuts will cause an increase in investment. This would be laughable were it not so regressive. Corporations are already sequestering enormous amounts of cash and could well expand investments if they so desired. Business leaders do not expand investments simply because they have even more cash than their already massive reserves, and they are saying just that.