Q: The Senate passed a tax bill on Saturday morning. What’s the damage?

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Q: The Senate passed a tax bill on Saturday morning. What’s the damage?

A: In order to provide massive benefits to billionaires (including the Trump family, naturally), Republicans choose to take health insurance away from up to 13 million people and let premiums spike (there is no question that this will happen, just how bad the effect will be). Republicans choose to add more than $1.4 trillion to the deficit, which could trigger automatic cuts in Medicaid up to $25 billion, and perhaps cuts to Medicare and Social Security as well.

The intellectual rot of the Republican party began decades ago, when charlatan “economists” started to advance ideas with no real-life support, and this tradition continues today. No doubt, academic economists being paid thousands of dollars an hour to consult for private corporations have been captured by their benefactors.

I found one good thing on p. 70 of the Senate bill – it increases the deduction for teacher expenses (when teachers pay for classroom supplies out of their own pocket) from $250 to $500. But this only lasts until 2026, when it goes back to $250. Thanks, Republicans!

On an initial read, I am not seeing anti-abortion language included in the Senate bill that was part of the House bill. We’ll have to watch how the negotiation process shakes out as the two bills are reconciled in the next few weeks.

-initially published in the 12/3/2017 newsletter

Stephanie Lee