State And Local Tax Deduction
The new law caps the deduction for state and local taxes at $10,000 through 2025. A number of Republican members of Congress representing high-tax states opposed attempts to eliminate the deduction, as the Senate bill would have done.
The Senate bill was amended on Dec. 1, 2017, apparently to win Susan Collins’ support:
The Senate tax bill will include my SALT amendment to allow taxpayers to deduct up to $10,000 for state and local property taxes. Sen. Susan Collins Dec. 1, 2017
Perceptions Of The Parties
Judgments about Romney and Obama mirror the views of middle-class Americans toward the Republican and Democratic parties.
According to the survey, only about a quarter to a third of the middle class says that the Republicans or Democrats primarily favor middle-class interests over those of the rich or poor. Republicans are perceived as the party of the rich, while the middle class is divided over whether the Democratic Party is more concerned about their needs or those of the poor.
To examine the intersection of social class and politics, the Pew Research survey asked respondents if each of the two major political parties favors the rich, favors the middle class or favors the poor.
Overall, the middle class was somewhat more likely to say that the Democratic Party rather than the GOP favored its interests . 13 But about as many say the Democrats favor the poor , and 16% believe the party favors the rich.
At the same time about six-in-ten middle-class adults say the GOP favors the rich
roughly double the 26% who say the Republican Party primarily favors middle-class Americans.
The survey also found that the middle class is politically diverse: Roughly equal shares of middle-class adults identify with the Democratic Party or say they are independents , while somewhat fewer align with the Republican Party . As a group, middle-class adults are more likely to identify themselves as political conservatives than liberals . About a third say they are moderates.
Life Satisfaction And Views Of Personal Finances Across Social Classes
Assessments of life satisfaction differ across self-identified social classes, with some of the widest differences seen between the views of the lower class and those of the upper and middle classes.
Majorities across groups say they are very satisfied with their family life. However, somewhat greater shares of those in the upper class and middle class say this than of those in the lower class .
About three-quarters of upper-class adults say they are very satisfied with their present housing situation 68% of those in the middle class also say this. Among lower-class adults, far fewer say they are very satisfied with their current housing.
Similarly, most upper- and middle-class adults say they are very satisfied with their education, compared with 43% of lower-class adults.
Among those currently employed, 62% of upper-class adults say they are very satisfied with their current job, while about half of those in the middle class say they are very satisfied with their job. Among employed adults who describe themselves as lower class, 40% say they are very satisfied with their current job.
As the country has recovered from the Great Recession, assessments of personal finances have improved across most groups, particularly among those who describe themselves as middle class.
Among those who say they are middle class, positive personal financial ratings are up 12 points, from 43% who described their finances as excellent or good in 2011 to 55% in the current survey.
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Views On Government Help For Middle Class Wealthy And Poor
A clear majority of Americans say the federal government does not do enough to help the middle class, but the middle class is hardly alone on this list. Majorities also say the government doesnt do enough for older people, poor people or children.
Overall, 62% say the government doesnt do enough to help the middle class, while 29% say it does about the right amount and 6% say it does too much. Roughly the same share says the government does not do enough for poor people or for children , and 66% say the government doesnt do enough to help older people.
Wealthy people are the one group included in the survey for which the public thinks the government does too much: 61% say this, while 24% say the government does about the right amount and 9% say it does not do enough.
Republicans and Democrats differ significantly in views of how much help the government gives the wealthy and poor. But there is greater consensus across party lines when it comes to the middle class, with most in both parties saying the government does not do enough for this group.
Fully 77% of Democrats say the government does too much for wealthy people, while 12% say it does about the right amount and 9% say it doesnt do enough. Among Republicans, views are more mixed: 44% say the government does too much to help the wealthy, 39% say it does about the right amount and 9% say it does not do enough.
The Trump Administration Has Sold Out To Wall Street Despite Promises To The Contrary
In 2016, Trump said he would take on Wall Street: Wall Street has caused tremendous problems for us. Were going to tax Wall Street. He promised to stop wealthy investment fund managers from getting away with murder by closing the infamous carried interest tax loophole.
But nearly immediately after his election, President Trump began filling his inner circle with Wall Street bankers. His administration has since begun to dismantle the regulations and safeguardson banking that Congress implemented in the wake of the crisis of 2008. By undermining Obama-era rules, the Trump administration has left retirees and investors more vulnerable to rip-offs. Meanwhile, the six biggest U.S. banksGoldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and Morgan Stanleyfor the first time saw more than $100 billion in profits in 2018 after already received a staggering $32 billion in tax cuts from the tax law signed by President Trump in 2017. The Trump administration also bowed to lobbyists on the carried interest loophole, which is still being exploited by wealthy fund managers to avoid taxes.
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Tax Cuts For The Wealthy
The massive tax cuts that wealthy people get do not eliminate the naturally occurring expenses of our nation. The money has to be made up from somewhere, and whenever the elite class gets a tax cut, it ends up being the middle class that is forced to shoulder the burden.
If you look at the tax code from back in the decades when the United States was fiscally solvent, there were always massive taxes on extreme wealth. These taxes existed to provide incentive to major corporations to invest in their people and maintain a high standard of living for the middle class. This allowed those businesses to show a higher payroll expense and provided them with an obvious means of staying out of the high tax brackets.
Now that there are no longer any high tax brackets, those corporations just keep that money for themselves. Thats why the minimum wage has stagnated for decades and its no longer possible for families to support themselves on a single income.
How Trump Has Betrayed The Working Class
Trumps corporate giveaways and failure to improve the lives of ordinary working Americans are becoming clearer by the day
Trump is remaking the Republican party into what?
For a century the GOP has been bankrolled by big business and Wall Street. Trump wants to keep the money rolling in. His signature tax cut, two years old last Sunday, has helped US corporations score record profits and the stock t reach all-time highs.
To spur even more corporate generosity for the 2020 election, Trump is suggesting more giveaways. Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney recently told an assemblage of CEOs that Trump wants to go beyond his 2017 tax cut.
Trump also wants to expand his working-class base. In rallies and countless tweets he claims to be restoring the American working class by holding back immigration and trade.
Most incumbent Republicans and GOP candidates are mimicking Trumps economic nationalism. As Trump consigliere Stephen Bannon boasted recently: Weve turned the Republican party into a working-class party.
Keeping the GOP the Party of Big Money while making it over into the Party of the Working Class is a tricky maneuver, especially at a time when capital and labor are engaged in the most intense economic contest in more than a century because so much wealth and power are going to the top.
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Trying To Tie Access To Basic Health Care To Work
Styna Lane suffers from chronic illnesses that leave her susceptible to joint dislocations, fainting spells and anaphylactic reactions. The 29-year-old from Ohio requires a chest port and relies on Medicaid to cover her prescriptions and treatments, which total more than $4,000 a month. But starting next year, she could lose her Medicaid coverage.
The Trump Administration invited states to apply for waivers that allow them to tie coverage to work requirements, and over a dozen, including Ohio, have done so. Though people with disabilities should be exempt, some who suffer from chronic illness are in a gray area. I know people will combat it with Well, if youre genuinely that ill, youll have no problem getting the exemption. But thats just not how our system works, says Lane, who was previously denied a disability exemption for food stamps. Unfortunately, a lot of people slip through those cracks.
From 2018 to 2020, courts have blocked the Medicaid work requirement in four states. Some courts have ruled that it defeats the primary legislative purpose of Medicaid, to provide health coverage to the poorest Americans.
Most states have put the work requirements on hold, pending the outcome of multiple court battles.
Deterring Travelers From Predominantly Muslim Countries
Judges blocked Trumps first two efforts to enact broad travel restrictions on countries with large Muslim populations, ruling that the Presidents moves likely violated federal immigration statutes. But in June 2018, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of Trumps third attempt, allowing him to impose travel restrictions on individuals from seven countries, five of which have Muslim majorities.
Since then, the U.S. State Department has all but stopped issuing visas to people from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. The Trump Administration says the travel restrictions were necessary to secure Americas borders.
But critics say the move was designed to paint Muslims as uniquely threatening in a country where right-wing terrorists have been responsible for more deaths since the 9/11 attacks than jihadists. The new restrictions also affect the communal aspect of the Islamic faith, says Robert McCaw of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. There are many inter-generational households that are disrupted when children cannot connect with grandparents, aunts and uncles, he says. And that is an attack on the family structure of Muslims in America.
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Trumps Erratic Actions On Trade And Tariffs Have Only Hurt Workers And Communities
In April 2016, Trump promised, We will keep our jobs and bring in new ones. There will be consequences for the companies that leave the United States only to exploit it later.
Yet the Trump administration has made only a modest update to the North American Free Trade Agreement and has achieved almost none of the United States main objectives with regard to China, most importantly leveling the playing field for American workers. Meanwhile, American businesses and consumers are bearing the financial brunt of the Trump administrations directionless trade war this administrations policies have actually caused a recession in U.S. manufacturing. Jobless rates are rising, and layoffs have continued and even accelerated in some Midwestern states. Farmers, too, are hurting from the trade war, with family farm bankruptcies rising 24 percent in 2019.