Whose country is America? Individual citizens or the wealthy?

Republicans promised tax cuts for middle income families; but the wealthy reap most rewards of bills passed.

President Trump campaigned on his ability to reform taxes. He said he would “lose big” with tax reform. However, changes in the estate tax benefit the Trump family by over $1 billion. Changes to the alternative minimum tax will reward him greatly now.

Republicans promised no excessive tax cuts for the rich; yet wealthy business owners, their highest contributors, get the highest tax cuts:

Banks caused the major recession that began under the Bush Republican administration; they are primary beneficiaries. Meanwhile college students will be taxed on grants to complete their education.

The petroleum industry contributes to Republicans and stands to gain; the renewable energy industry supported by Democrats stands to lose.

Pharmaceuticals, the industry responsible for the current opioid addiction crisis, will benefit greatly. Legislators who receive contributions from pharmaceuticals have restricted efforts by the Drug Enforcement Administration to limit sales of drugs that could go to illegal markets.

Republicans promised the middle class would benefit. However, changes in how individuals calculate taxes may seem like tax cuts at first and will soon become tax increases.

Plans to eliminate the individual mandate for health insurance could cause low income individuals to lose health insurance.

House and Senate Republicans are still reconciling a final bill. Let Republicans know, especially Sen. Ron Johnson, that you expect ordinary Americans to benefit most from tax reform.

John Hempstead is from La Crosse.

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Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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