To the Editor:

Many of us are aware that Congress is in the process of trying to simplify and reduce the tax burden on us tax payers. However, the bill that the house just passed and the one in the Senate does not do that.  In addition, the Senate is trying to do away with the Individual Mandate.

The tax bill deletes most of the deductions we use, in fact only mortgage and charity giving will be deductible. The House allows an additional $10,000 deduction for property tax and the Senate the cost of medical expenses.

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These three must add up to exceed the new standard deduction which is a hard to do. 

Presently the addition of each, along with the state and local taxes and the $4,050 personnel exemption far exceeds the $24,000/$12,000. Therefore, many of us will be paying more in taxes, after the tax reform bill. This is anything but reform!

While I do not think that the Individual Mandate is a good idea, however repealing it has consequences that are being ignored.

It appears that individual market place will be hit hard. It may be already built in to the 2018 insurance rates. But could go up 10% year after year. This would help explain the potential 25% increase in an individual policy for next year.

This article addresses the removal:

While the Republicans may be trying to have Obamacare cave in on itself they don’t realize or more likely don’t care what it does to folks like us. 

The results are house prices will fall, vacation homes will be less wanted, charity giving will decrease, people will have less money to spend, many will go without insurance, charity care at hospitals and medical facilities will get worse.

Those that don’t have insurance may decide to pick up a catastrophic policy and pay for medication and doctor visits out of pocket, with negotiated charges. This may result in less profit for insurance companies and higher rates for those that do have insurance. 

As many of you know, long term care is expensive perhaps more than $100K+ a year, without the deduction, seniors become a funding source for corporations and other tax brackets.

This is amazing, no job (if over 50 or so) and no deduction for the medical spiraling costs, or the other deductions we are use too.  They are crazy, cold hearted/narrow sighted or have another plan.

On top of this is the funding that our Governor elect Murphy campaigned on.

Where will all this money from us tax payers come from?

I think that it is possible Congress wants to get the public more displeased with President Trump, suffer the losses in Congress and get him out of office and/or neutered by impeachment hearings. This means the swamp survives.

On the other hand several Republican Senators will not vote for it, with changes to Obamacare few Democrats if any will vote for it. Saying that, it means that the Tax Reform Bill may fail. That is good news if it happens for us.

In fact, when CEO’s were asked what they would do with the extra money from this tax reform bills, they indicated that they would increase dividends and buy back their stock. No re-investment, pay higher salaries or create jobs.

The rise in the stock market will reverse, Trump will look like a hindrance and many of us will be more than happy to have any Democrat as president, as he or she reforms the damage done by the Republicans. I know if a Democrat runs on a platform that does not include these “reforms”, he has my vote.

It appears that the public is not in favor of these changes since it looks like a giveaway to corporations and possibly the rich.

The question, what can we do?  Since most of our Washington Representatives realize how damaging the bills are, trying calling them anyway on the phone. Then you can try calling those in other districts and if you are nice, they will listen to you. You can write to the media, call phone lines and the like.

Should this bill fail, the Republicans will look like they can’t govern. Should the bill pass, then the Republicans look like they don’t care about us and those that have high medical costs. Their only option is to pull both bills back and assure that All taxpayers receive a tax break by rewriting it by including both parties.

Some 240 years ago, Americans stood and fought for freedom, prodded by “taxation without representation.” One can make a case, it is time to fight again, regardless of one’s political affiliation.

Albert Muller
Scotch Plains, NJ