What that tax plan does

This story was originally published in the December 22, 2017 issue of The Slant. To get Asian American news, media and culture in your e-mail inbox every Friday morning, subscribe today.

You’ve heard about it from the “enemy of the people” (read: journalists). You’ve seen it scrawled on the labyrinth of Twitter. The GOP’s tax plan has all but been signed into law, and AAARGHHHHH.

Numbers can be confusing (I’m projecting here), so here’s our patented Slant Bulleted List™ on what this thing does. Find more details over at NPR, and use CNN’s nifty calculator to see how it’ll affect you.

The up-front stuff

This bill:

  • Lowers the tax rate on rich Americans and corporations. That’s 37% for wealthy Americans, down from 39.6%, and 21% for corporations, down from 35%.
  • Lowers taxes for most Americans until 2026. About 62% of Americans will get a tax cut until 2026, at which point they may actually start paying more than they currently do.
  • Eliminates most state and local tax deductions over $10,000. This will affect you if you live in a high-tax state like CA, NY, NJ and CT, have a larger home mortgage and/or are a high-income earner.

The even seedier stuff

This isn’t just a tax bill. It’s a “how can we make 2017 even worse” bill, because it also:

  • Repeals the individual mandate. Folks will no longer be penalized for not having health insurance coverage. 13 million more people may go without insurance, and premiums may go up 10% or more.
  • Lets oil and gas companies drill in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. They’re not even being subtle about this.
  • Eliminates incentives for companies to subsidize commutes and snacks. Companies used to get a tax break for subsidizing $255 worth of commute aid. No longer! And they can’t deduct costs fully for free snacks, either. Hard to say whether companies will continue to feed the hands that work them.

I don’t like this

2017’s been rough, and this thing’s making even the future rougher. But 2018’s an election year. So pen—meet ballot.

Andrew Hsieh, editor-in-chief, who’s joining y’all to get out the VOTE


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