Donald Trump and the Republicans in Congress, such as Nevada Senator Dean Heller, have made a lot of promises about their $1.5 trillion tax giveaway passed in December. They said millions and millions of workers would get wage hikes or bonuses. But it didn’t work out that way – only 4% of the nation’s 148 million employees got more money from their bosses. It’s the wealthy that that have reaped the benefits. About two-thirds of the tax cuts are going to the richest households this year and nearly 83% are going to the richest households by 2027 when the law is fully implemented.
It’s hardly news that the rich are getting richer and the poor getting poorer, but what do these new tax breaks really mean for families in Nevada?
A new report from Americans for Tax Fairness and Health Care for America Now that shows the tax bill isn’t just unfair and skewed to benefit Wall Street corporations and the richest 1% way more than the rest of us, but the cost of these giveaways will be shifted to us in new ways.
Here’s who benefits most in our state according the report’s findings:
The richest 1% of Nevada taxpayers—people with an average income of at least $2,762,400–will receive 41% of the state’s total tax cut.
The bottom 60% of taxpayers—people with income less than $64,880–will get just 11% of the tax cuts.
The average tax cut for the richest 1% is $104,700 while the average tax benefit for the lower 60% of Nevadans is $500—about a dollar a day.
Repeal of a key provision of the ACA in the tax law will increase the number of uninsured people in Nevada by 112,000 and drive up premiums by as much as $1,730 annually for some ACA enrollees.
The tax law is paid for with cuts to health care, including a partial repeal of the ACA that will result in millions more uninsured people and higher premiums for some families. But those aren’t the only cuts we’ll see because of the new law. Because most of the tax giveaway is not yet paid for, the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) says it will add $1.9 trillion to the national debt. To address that new debt, President Trump and Republicans are already proposing big cuts in programs that Nevada families depend on:
243,000 could lose health coverage by 2020 because of the proposed to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act. Women, people over 50 and people with pre-existing conditions would lose important protections that stop insurance companies from charging them more. Seniors could also face higher costs for prescription drugs because of a key provision in the ACA that gives seniors in Part D a discount on prescription medicines.
42,320 people in Nevada could lose food assistance through SNAP.
72,519 Nevadans with disabilities could lose services because of a $540,000,000 cut to SSDI and SSI.
Nevada would lose $917,955,420 from highway funding and $258,795,294 from transit funding between 2021 and 2027, resulting in significant job loss.
24,743 college students could lose federal student aid, 13,266 kids could lose after-school programs, and 185 teachers could lose jobs because of proposed education cuts.
While we’re paying more for health care and losing services, big pharmaceutical and insurance companies will be reaping big benefits under the new law. UnitedHealth, the nation’s largest insurance company will get a $1.7 billion annual tax break. Plus, the 10 largest prescription drug companies will get $80 billion in tax breaks over the next ten years on their off-shore profits thanks to the new law even though they have gouged consumers for years, jacking up the price of nine of their most widely-prescribed drugs for older Americans by an average of 71% between 2011 and 2015. That’s 6.5 times the rate of prescription drug inflation and 14 times the rate of general inflation.
Tax breaks for the rich and corporations don’t put money in the pockets of working people, make health care more affordable or help pay for college no matter no matter what promises Wall Street CEO’s make about passing along the savings to employees or customers.
Instead of trickle-down promises and more tax breaks that reward prescription drug companies and insurers for gouging customers, Congress should make corporations pay their fair share of taxes to expand health care, make insurance and prescription drugs more affordable and protect education, Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security just like the rest of us do.
In Nevada, Senator Dean Heller and Congressman Mark Amodei voted for the Trump Tax, with a full understanding of these consequences. On Tax Day, Nevadans should remind their delegation that they answer to the people of Nevada, and not their wealthy donors and corporations.