Didnt Raise The Minimum Wage Didnt Offer Better Education Didnt Work For Better & Cheaper Health Care Didnt Do Much To Stimulate The Key Leading Industries Of The 21st Century:
Yeah, dont be fooled Republican leaders have never been in favor of supporting the middle class through government action. Their whole MO is to have no social safety net, reject tax revenue from millionaires and billionaires, cut funding for education and transportation infrastructure, and leave you on your own when it comes to basic health care. Thats what the Republican Party supports. Ironically, the US public largely wants all of those things the Republican Party doesnt want yet Republicans control the country.
Think again about the title of this article. Republicans have been in power for two years. What has the party leadership actually done to in order to help you?
Other than allowing more pollution and allowing more financial gambling with the US economy, what has the Republican Party done at all, let alone for you?
Images by ITEP and Maj. Brent J. Davis
Changes To The Tax Code
President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law on Dec. 22, 2017, bringing sweeping changes to the tax code. How people feel about the $1.5+ trillion overhauls depend largely on their opinion of Trump’s presidency. Individually, how the changes were felt depended on factors like income level, filing status, and deductions. Those living in a high-tax state with soaring property values may have paid more in taxes in 2019.
For the wealthy, banks, and other corporations, the tax reform package was considered a lopsided victory given its significant and permanent tax cuts to corporate profits, investment income, estate tax, and more. Financial services companies stood to see huge gains based on the new, lower corporate rate , as well as the more preferable tax treatment of pass-through companies. Some banks said their effective tax rate would drop under 21%.
Given the popular criticism of the tax overhaul’s disparities, coupled with GOP losses in the 2018 midterm elections, as well Trump’s potential trade war muting the benefits of the tax cuts for voters, there were discussions surrounding tax reforms. The reforms could make individual tax cuts permanent and encourage retirement savings and business innovation. More on that later.
Explaining The Trump Tax Reform Plan
For most people, tax season comes to a close on April 15 each year. In 2019, many taxpayers were surprised to find they had to pay more taxes than the previous year, while others received significantly lower refund checks from the Internal Revenue Service even though their financial circumstances didn’t change.
Many tax specialists and accountants urged their clients to update their withholdings in order to avoid a hefty bill at tax time.
But how did this happen? Let’s take a closer look at President Trump’s changes to the tax codethe largest overhaul made in the last 30 yearsand how it impacts taxpayers and business owners.
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Weakening Shields For Payday
When Candice Russell needed an unexpected medical procedure in 2014, she had no way to pay for it. Shed recently separated from her husband, and her wages as a Texas bartender werent cutting it. So she borrowed $450 from a payday lender. After a year and a half and two subsequent payday loans she had hoped would finally get her out of the red, she realized she was $10,000 in the hole. Every time I got to a point where I thought I had gotten myself out of it, something would inevitably happen, says Russell, now 37.
Its a common experience for low-income Americans: a vicious cycle of using one payday loan to service another. Up to 12 million Americans take out payday loans each year, according to a 2016 fact sheet by Pew Charitable Trusts. The averages describe a borrower who is in debt for five months out of the year and spends $520 on fees to take out the same $375 loan over and over. Black Americans are especially vulnerable: because they are less likely to have stable credit, they are 105% more likely than other Americans to seek these loans, according to Pew.
The Obama-era Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a rule to protect these borrowers, requiring payday lenders to ensure people could repay loans before issuing advances. I dont think its brain surgery to say that if somebody is in trouble and then you give them a loan and charge them a 390% interest rate end up trapped in debt, says former CFPB director Richard Cordray.
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.
Trumps Economy: 7 Broken Promises To Working Americans
In 2016, Donald Trump vowed to champion forgotten Americans and take on the entrenched interests that he blamed for hollowing out the middle class. He categorically promised no cuts to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid, and he said he would stop Wall Street from getting away with murder end the outsourcing of American jobs insure everyone with lower health care costs and close tax loopholes for people like himself and to focus tax relief on the middle class. Trump promised to drain the swamp in Washington.
In office, however, President Trumps administration has broken each of these promises, betraying the people he said he would fight for. In virtually every policy sphere, his administration has favored powerful corporations and the wealthy at the expense of middle- and working-class Americans. Trumps broken promises have had real-life consequences for American families: less economic security lower wages more expensive health care greater threats to Social Security and Medicare and a widening gap between working Americans and the wealthy and powerful.
As President Trump prepares to give his third State of the Union address, here are seven ways his administration has broken his core economic promises and how they have let down ordinary Americans.
Attacked The Fundamental Floorboards Of Democracy The Media And Checks On Power:
If youve been paying any attention to political news, you know that Donald Trump has viciously attacked the most important pillar of democratic society a healthy and independent press. He has also attacked the independence of the Justice Department, Congress, and others.
It would be one thing if it was just Trump, but Republican politicians have enabled and essentially encouraged it by not stepping up for democracy, but not stepping up for the American public. The key point, though, is that Republicans in power have only enabled autocratic tendencies of the president of the United States.
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Looking Forward To Wage Growth In 2018
In light of all the Trump administrations so-called victories, wage growth has stagnated. And luckily, this has been acknowledged within the Trump administration.
Kevin Hassett, the chairman of the presidents Council of Economic Advisers told NPR, Wage growth was not as strong as wed like to see itWe fully expect that thats going to accelerate next year if the tax bill passes. Now that the tax bill has passed, all Americans can hope to see wages grow.
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.
Expansion In The Child Tax Credit
Working parents get some relief. | Monkeybusinessimages
For middle-class workers with children, the benefit of the expanded child tax credit is impressive. For starters, the credit has doubled from $1,000 to $2,000 per child. Previously, if a tax filer didnt have any taxable income, the child tax credit couldnt be received. Thats no longer the case. Of the $2,000 credit, up to $1,400 is refundable.
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Blocking Trans Troops From The Military
With a trio of tweets in 2017, Trump declared he was rolling back an Obama-era policy that permitted transgender Americans to openly serve in the military. The Armed Forces cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption, Trump wrote.
But implementing the new policy turned out to be more complicated than posting it on social media. What ensued was a series of court orders that barred the change. The Administration pushed forward anyway and was granted approval from the Supreme Court to proceed on an interim basis. Now anyone who has medically transitioned or is currently transitioning is disqualified from enlisting. Individuals who are currently serving in the military but were diagnosed with gender dysphoria after April 2019 must serve in the sex they were assigned at birth, seek out a series of complex waivers or leave.
House Democrats have challenged the ruleas has public opinion: 71% of adults now support the right of openly transgender people to serve, according to Gallup.
The Trump Administration Has Brought In Record Numbers Of Corporate And Industry Lobbyists At The Expense Of The American People
After famously promising to drain the swamp, President Trump brought in staggering numbers of corporate lobbyists and tapped them to oversee the very industries from which they came. Turning over the reins of government to corporate lobbyists has resulted in serious consequences for the American people. Among many other special interest giveaways, the Trump administration has:
- Undermined wage theft enforcement, making it more difficult to prosecute against employers who steal from employeesa problem that costs workers more than $50 billion annually.
- Let companies force workers into mandatory arbitration agreements, which has left 60 million workers unable to bring class-action lawsuits to workplace disputes.
- Allowed companies to classify certain workers as independent contractors to exclude them from federal labor law protections.
- Began to dismantle environmental protections that keep air, water, and the environment clean while undermining communities input on projects in their backyards.
- Propped up for-profit colleges, where students are four times more likely than students who attend not-for-profit colleges to default on loans and where 88 percent of borrows have debt upon graduationa rate higher than both public and nonprofit schools.
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Trump: ‘mexico Will Pay For The Wall’
But the president’s promised immigration crackdown is real. Under Trump, the U.S. is a much harder place to get into. As promised, the administration restricted travel from several Muslim-majority countries . The non-partisan Migration Policy Institute found Trump used executive actions to pretty much end the asylum system at the southwest border and reduce refugee admissions.
In 2021, the Trump administration plans to cap the number of refugees allowed into the U.S. at 15,000 a year, down from the current cap of 18,000, and far less than the more than 85,000 slots during the final year of the Obama administration.
Shifting An Additional Burden To Rape Survivors
About 21% of women reported being sexually assaulted during college, according to a government-funded study of the 201415 school year. But this spring, even as COVID-19 shut down campuses, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos finalized regulations that may lead fewer survivors to report attackers to their schools. Under the updated rules governing Title IX, institutions have less legal liability for campus assault and harassment and will be required to allow both parties in a case to undergo cross-examinations at a live hearing.
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Fair And Reciprocal Trade
Secured historic trade deals to defend American workers.
Took strong actions to confront unfair trade practices and put America First.
- Imposed tariffs on hundreds of billions worth of Chinese goods to protect American jobs and stop Chinas abuses under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 and Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974.
- Directed an all-of-government effort to halt and punish efforts by the Communist Party of China to steal and profit from American innovations and intellectual property.
- Imposed tariffs on foreign aluminum and foreign steel to protect our vital industries and support our national security.
- Approved tariffs on $1.8 billion in imports of washing machines and $8.5 billion in imports of solar panels.
- Blocked illegal timber imports from Peru.
- Took action against France for its digital services tax that unfairly targets American technology companies.
- Launched investigations into digital services taxes that have been proposed or adopted by 10 other countries.
Historic support for American farmers.