Heller’s awful tax bill

It often seems as though, if Republicans had legislation before them dealing with vehicle liens, dental assistants or beekeeping, they would find a way to include subsidies for the rich. Every time we turn around, the GOP is pitching a new way to give unearned money to the one percent.

It’s hard to believe that this is the party that once attacked George McGovern for supposedly supporting income redistribution to benefit the working poor. Republicans don’t talk about income redistribution much anymore, since it would invite comparisons with GOP income redistribution subsidizing the rich at the expense of workers. Redistributing income upward nearly defines the GOP now.

It is one of the features of the Republican tax bill in Congress. The right wing Tax Foundation has analyzed the Republican Senate measure and concluded the lower 80 percent of taxpayers would keep 1.1 to 1.9 percent more of their income—at first. The wealthiest one percent of taxpayers would keep about 7.5 percent more of their income. But as time passes, the foundation said most of us at the bottom will keep only 0.3 to 0.4 percent more. Ah, but those folks at the top? They would then keep 4.5 percent more.

While it may seem like just another way for the Trumps to enrich themselves from the presidency, it doesn’t stop there. According to the conservative U.S. News and World Report, the Republican tax bill would also make college less affordable, allow fetuses to be beneficiaries of tax free investments, remove the ban on tax-exempt religious groups being involved in politics, allow drilling at the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and slash Medicare and the Affordable Care Act.

Do these sound like tax reform to you?

Make college less affordable? What sanity-challenged legislator came up with that? Dean Heller has written a tweet reading, “I was asked earlier today if I read the tax bill. Read it? I helped write it!”

This country has a stake in education, to keep the United States competitive.

“Specifically, it rescinds the interest deduction for student loans; eliminates the $2,500 tax credit available to parents; taxes tuition waivers as income for graduate students; and places a tax on college endowments, reducing the funds more than 150 colleges across the country have for scholarships for students in need of financial aid …” U.S. News reports. “Proceeds from college endowments support students from lower-income families, enabling students from all backgrounds to graduate with less debt. Its elimination therefore will limit the number of students colleges can subsidize, creating an educational disparity between people of different economic backgrounds.”

At a time when the State of Nevada is ladling out corporate welfare for high tech firms, government’s federal hand is taking away small ways of helping parents and students.

Heller really should not brag about writing this bill, but parents and students should keep it in mind next year when he asks for their votes. What was in his mind when he made life more difficult for them?