Republican leadership from the White House and down has been desperately trying to pass a major piece of legislation — any piece of legislation, it seems. After their failure to fulfill their promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act — despite controlling the House and the Senate, not to mention the Oval Office — it seems that winning politically for them is more important than producing a true victory for the American people. That's obvious in their attempts to impose an unpopular (but huge) tax overhaul that would largely amount to a pay day for the wealthy and a slap in the face to those who, well, aren't. And how the potential passage of the GOP's tax plan could hurt single parents is just one example of how bad this overhaul could be for so many Americans.
A version of the tax plan — which President Donald Trump and his ilk have championed as a tax break for the middle class — passed in the House earlier this month, according to The New York Times. Now, Senate Republicans are working to rewrite and revise the bill to make up its chances of garnering the 50 votes it will require to pass. Chief among the concerns plaguing its palatability is that the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation has determined future economic growth would not be enough to make up for the $1.5 trillion cost — leaving a $1 trillion deficit in place, as Politico reported.
Still, a vote could come as soon as 11 a.m. on Friday.
Much of the emergence of that possible deficit has to do with the fact that the bill (which, again, appears to be a bit of a work in progress even at this eleventh hour) would "reward the ultra-affluent and corporations," as John Wasik wrote for Forbes. This would include eliminating the estate tax, which super rich people hoping to pass their fortune to their heirs find cumbersome, and slashing the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent starting in 2019.
But, as the significant deficit that the plan would introduce illustrates, Republicans obviously need to find a way to pay for all of this. According to Forbes, one way they want to do this is to pull major funds from federal programs such as Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid. And then there is the brutal reality with which such a mission would confront other vulnerable households, such those run by single parents.
The implementation of the Senate's version of the GOP tax plan would reportedly result in single-parent households owing more to the federal government in taxes. According to CNBC, the plan would end personal exemptions. It would also double the standard deduction. So, a single parent would no longer be able to claim the personal exemption of $4,050 for each of his or her kids,
Currently, if the single parent in question had two kids, he or she would have their taxable income reduced by $21,500, because of the two personal exemptions plus the $9,350. But with the standard deduction doubled and the per-kid personal exemptions gone, the deduction would drop to $18,000, as CNBC explained it.
This becomes even more significant for families with many children, as experts have pointed out. In an apparent attempt to mitigate this, the Senate plan calls for the child tax credit to be doubled from $1,000 to $2,000, CNBC reported. Considering the fact that the child tax credit would then disappear at the end of 2025, though, this is little comfort to families long-term.
Should this tax plan become a reality, single parents will lose out on a lot. And it's more important now than ever to call your representatives to tell them how these proposed changes will affect you.