New tax plan hurts students, gives huge breaks to the rich

By Alex Kerravala, Staff Writer

Way back in September, the Republican Congress announced their tax plan, and in their tax plan, they announced they would cut taxes across the board. While this is true, the benefits the lower and middle class of Americans would see are far beyond the benefits being thrown at the uber rich.  It has gotten to the point where the so-called “benefits” for the lower class and students do not come anywhere close to the burdens this bill puts on them to make up for the insane perks the rich get to experience.

What I find most offensive above all else is how well the rich make out in this tax bill. For starters, the income tax on anyone making over $418,000 a year will go down from 39.6 percent to 35 percent. Because nothing shows a party’s desire to increase funding for the world’s largest military like cutting a huge chunk of wealth from the U.S.’s income.

And that’s not even the most offensive gain the rich gets in this plan. The larger, more significant tax break on the wealthy is the estate tax, or rather, the removal of said tax. This tax, also known as the “death tax” puts a tax families have to pay when properties such as houses get passed to an heir after the owner passes. This tax only affects properties valued at $5.49 million or higher. This means that the vast majority of Americans go unaffected by this tax, yet the Republicans feel it necessary to relieve the upper class.

But don’t worry, we are just scratching the surface with the benefits the uber rich receive thanks to the Republican Party. Big businesses receive a significant tax break; the current tax rate on big businesses in the U.S. are set at 35 percent, and this plan cuts that down to 20.

Y’know, why not? It’s not like the U.S. takes pride in its middle class. Why not give the most benefits to the smallest percentage of Americans? Why not help the rich get richer while the young and the poor suffer? The rich have gotten used to their high lifestyle. No reason to take this away from them.

Now there are very few Republicans in Massachusetts, and even fewer people that read The Torch, but on the off chance there is somebody thinking about defending trickle down economics, remind yourself that statistics have always shown when the top tax rate is higher, the GDP shows its fastest growth. Of course you’re welcome to argue, but I’ll take statistics and human nature over blind hope in big corporations to have the interest of the individual at heart.

As students, you’re probably wondering why you should care, assuming the national debt doesn’t scare you. Well, while the rich get richer, college gets even harder to pay for.                     

At the moment, low and middle income Americans can deduct up to $2,500 a year in student loan interest. That benefit would go away in 2018.  In addition, grad students who get tuition waivers because they teach or do research would now have to pay income tax on the waiver, a big change.

Not only will students’ income be taxed, but tuition will be taxed as income. Meaning loans will be higher, and grad school will be even harder to pay off.

A four year degree is becoming more and more useless, and the Republicans want to make it even harder for lower class families to make a living for themselves.

Now, I may be getting into conspiracy theory territory, but there is something frightening about the Republican Party being scumbags by giving the rich more benefits, and then making it harder for the poor to understand they are getting ripped off by taking away their means of educating themselves.

Not only can the poor not learn their plights, but to get a job where one could change these atrocious policies would require a high degree. The GOP is controlling the cost of education to keep people uninformed on their corruption.

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