The news about Sen. Dean Heller’s disastrous tax plan keeps getting worse, and more negative consequences popped up over the weekend about how the bill is spiking the deficit and could spur more divorces. House Speaker Paul Ryan’s deleted tweet, which created a major backlash, also underscored the out-of-touch priorities driving the GOP’s tax bill.
Republicans may pride themselves on upholding family values, but their new tax law could soon lead to a surge in married couples calling it quits.
Lawyers are counseling couples considering divorce to do it this year — before a 76-year-old deduction for alimony payments is wiped out in 2019 under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Many divorce lawyers criticize Republicans’ decision to end the break, saying it will make divorces more acrimonious. People won’t be willing to pay as much, they say, which will disproportionately hurt women who tend to earn less and are more likely to be on the receiving end of alimony payments. (Child support payments are not deductible.)
“The repeal reduces the bargaining power of vulnerable spouses, mostly women, in achieving financial stability after a divorce,” said Brian Vertz, a family law attorney in Pittsburgh.
One of the many things confirmed by the great tax-bill melodrama of 2017 is that Republicans only pretend to care about “fiscal responsibility” when Democrats are in power and tax cuts aren’t on the line. With the opportunity to slash the corporate rate nearly in half, cries of “I won’t endorse a bill that adds one penny to the deficit!” evaporated, and tacking on $1.5 trillion became no big deal. Tax cuts, we will soon be reminded, don’t grow on trees, and the social safety net must be pared back in exchange. For now, though, Republicans are still in the trickle-down honeymoon phase, seeing in every corporate press release more confirmation that America has been made great again. Which makes it somewhat ironic that the Treasury is now burning through its cash reserves at an even more spectacular rate.
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the federal government will run out of money even sooner than expected, thanks to the new tax legislation, which is estimated to lead to a fall in revenue of $136 billion in 2018.
It was another crazy news week, so it’s understandable if you missed a small but important announcement from the Treasury Department: The federal government is on track to borrow nearly $1 trillion this fiscal year — Trump’s first full year in charge of the budget.
That’s almost double what the government borrowed in fiscal year 2017.
Here are the exact figures: The U.S. Treasury expects to borrow $955 billion this fiscal year, according to a documents released Wednesday. It’s the highest amount of borrowing in six years, and a big jump from the $519 billion the federal government borrowed last year.
Treasury mainly attributed the increase to the “fiscal outlook.” The Congressional Budget Office was more blunt. In a report this week, the CBO said tax receipts are going to be lower because of the new tax law.
Speaker Paul D. Ryan faced a backlash on Saturday after he pointed to a secretary’s $1.50 weekly increase in take-home pay as a sign of the Republican tax plan’s success.
“A secretary at a public high school in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, said she was pleasantly surprised her pay went up $1.50 a week … she said [that] will more than cover her Costco membership for the year,” Mr. Ryan posted on Twitter, sharing an Associated Press report about paycheck increases under the $1.5 trillion tax overhaul.
Mr. Ryan deleted the Twitter post in hours, however, after lawmakers and social media users criticized him for appearing out of touch.
“That tweet about the $1.50 a week is not a PR mistake,” Senator Brian Schatz, Democrat of Hawaii, wrote on Twitter. “It is really what they think.”