The Republican tax plan hits middle-class Americans even harder than critics are saying. The provision that could have the most devastating effect on middle-class tax-payers is the elimination of the personal exemption. According to a tax-policy specialist at the Roosevelt Institute, this change will result in a tax increase of about $1.6 trillion over the next ten years, especially for families with more than one child. And it will begin right away.

Because the bill will add more than $1.5 trillion to the deficit, the GOP has proposed eliminating or capping many deductions that people currently take. Although the “standard deduction” will be increased, this is not enough to make up for the other deductions that will be lost or capped—those for mortgage interests, local taxes, medical expenses, and personal exemptions for individuals and couples. For the first year or so, says the Roosevelt Institute, many families will get a tax increase. And for those who get a tax cut, it will be very small—less than $100.

Republicans claim that their proposal will reduce taxes for the middle-class, but the reality is that most of the cuts are taken away by small maneuvers that are difficult to assess. All in order to preserve the cuts for corporations and the wealthy.

Robert Funk, Charleston

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