Will America Be Great again?
The 2016 election was one of the most controversial elections we have seen in a while. This election has divided our country in an almost complete fifty-fifty split, and it all revolved around one awarded real estate agent, Donald Trump. With the catchphrase ‘Make America Great Again’ it sounds like he has some huge aspirations for America and its people but yet, it’s surprising how many people oppose every move he makes. With a latest approval rating of a terrible thirty nine percent I struggle to realize how he won the race.
Trump introduced a tax reform bill which will be the biggest tex cut on individuals and businesses in American History. In a .PDF Trump released to cover his tax plan his goals were, tax relief for the middle class, simplify the tax code, and grow the American economy by discouraging corporate inversions and apparently it will add no debt. Now, this sounds really good but will our economy really grow and will very little debt be added to the already $18.96 trillion? These were simple goals and even he recognized that but, even though these goals would theoretically solve the issues he presented don’t we need complex answers to complex problems that we already know are hard to fix?
I have heard enough of the Trump hating and the #NotMyPresident nonsense. As Americans we should have complete and total respect for our President, we should want for his success and cheer him on not completely think he is capable of nothing. President trump wants to help the middle class and lower their taxes, he plans on taking away income tax if you are single and make less than $25,000 or are married and make less than $50,000 collectively. This takes up about 75 million households, however, there are 247,773,709 adults in the us and the other 172 million people in the United States will only be getting approximately $1,000 off on income tax and while that’s good taxes are a whole lot more, right now though, we’ll take anything we can get.
Now, onto the 69th U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. The man behind the most successful oil company in the world, Exxon Mobil. Recently, he has been under fire from Senator and previous republican nominee, John McCain. McCain, in a New York Times opinion piece suggested that Tillerson was killing off our overseas allies. Also, many have questioned with his such strong connections to middle east countries and Russia specifically, if he had any influence or was in an inside job with the election. This was especially prevalent when Trump fired James Comey since he was in the middle of the Russia investigation. Personally, I do not think Russia tampered with the election at all due to the fact that they have told the white house they are ready to release all phone calls that Trump made to Sergey Lavrov, if the white house approves. Tillerson has kept a mostly low profile since starting his job on February 1, 2017. Also, he has let the white house make statements instead of him in recent activities like, the North Korea bomb testing. Tillerson needs to become more vocal as he is one of the biggest positions in the government. I think he is trying to keep quiet to avoid controversy or to get himself into any trouble as he is already suspected to have ties with Russia. This is understandable but he is a leader in our country and we need to hear his voice.
Betsy DuVos is the eleventh United States Secretary of Education and the person with highest amount of controversy surrounding them in the recent political scene only behind Donald Trump. Betsy plans to cut at least twenty-two school programs. For example, she will cut an estimated $1.2 billion in after school programs that serve 1.6 million kids, $2.1 billion in teacher training and class size reduction, and then a $27 million arts education program (there are many more cuts being done but these are the largest three). These budget cuts sound very drastic and while they are there are a few reasons for why they are being done. The first, $500 million investment for charter schools which is 50% of what the current government budget is now, $250 million on “Education Innovation and Research Grants,” which would pay for the research on how vouchers impact private and religious schools, lastly, they will spend an unclear amount for the actual vouchers. Many people are upset about these drastic public education funding cuts just for the Trump administration to “study” the effects of vouchers on private education. Of course, those who opt to go to private schools are loving this but, many adults with kids in public schools see going to get a private education as a choice, which it is. Should people who choose to drop $10,000 on a private school education not be helped but public school kids should be? Or, is it that private school goers make the decision for themselves to not be helped by the government?
President Trump’s selection of General James Mattis for Defense Secretary gives a more assertive American posture to countries in the Middle East. This would include more troops on the ground, more Navy patrols in the Persian Gulf, and more jets in the Middle East. Trump even said that Gen. Mattis is the closest person we have to General George Patton, the one that led U.S. troops into Nazi Germany. Many officials caution the General’s tough posture to other Middle East countries thinking it will only start war not prevent it. So far, General Mattis has said that tearing apart Iran’s nuclear agreement will be a damaging thing even though President Trump has vowed to do it. Also, many that know Gen. Mattis and are close to him say he will likely call for about 6,000 more American troops in the Middle East but only if American backed Iraqi forces defeat the Islamic State in Mosul, which they are expected. General Mattis has advocated the work with allies in the region to strengthen our ties with their spy agencies and to expand naval exercises. Lastly, General Mattis was elected to lead the United States Central Command by Obama in 2010, however, his tour was cut short in 2013.
Donald Trump’s pick of Steve Mnuchin to be the treasury secretary is similar to the others in his cabinet, big, successful businessmen. Not to say that is a bad thing but he was only approved by senate with a vote of 53–47, which has summed up the recent political scene, just slightly more people are for him than there are against him. Mnuchin’s main tasks right now are to help rewrite the tax code with Donald Trump, carrying out or lifting financial sanctions on foreign countries, and he is responsible for government borrowing in financial markets. Mnuchin has let us know that he wants more than just tax cuts, he wants tax reform like Donald Trump.
Now that we have many of Donald Trump’s main cabinet members explained and out of the way, let’s discuss some of the positive and negative effects of Trump’s aggressive tax reform, as it affects all of us. I will start off if you were planning to buy a home. If you were to buy a home under Trump’s tax reform, then thats good for you because it will keep home ownership tax deductions. Like in 2014, when 32 million households claimed a mortgage interest deduction. If you don’t plan on buying a home there will be no impact for you.
Do you give charitable contributions? If you answered yes, then keep on giving because the plan will keep deductions for charitable gifts. Also, in 2014 for example 36 million households deducted charitable contributions. If you answered no, then its no big deal, the plan will have no impact for you in this area either.
What if you live in a high tax state like California or New York? Well, then this part is going to hurt because the plan will eliminate itemized deductions for state and local taxes. Now, without these deductions people who live in high taxing states will pay more in this area. Obviously, if you don’t live in a high tax state then this will not affect you.
Here’s some more bad news. If you have large, reimbursed casualty or theft loss then the plan would eliminate the option to deduct the losses on your taxes. In 2014, only 90,000 households claimed casualty or theft losses. Again, obviously if your house was not stolen from or broken into then this part of the plan will not affect you.
Overall, the Trump tax reform will be an aggressive, yet in total, a good tax reform plan. It will most likely affect the majority of America’s population in a positive or neutral way. I think the biggest downside to the Trump tax reform is the dropping of tax help in high tax states like California or New York because those are our some of our most populated states. Other than that, the tax plan will probably be a positive for you rather than a negative. This is a new and exciting chapter to American life and I think it’s a shame that people are still not giving Trump a try. This new tax system will be successful and it can hopefully gain Trump the respect and recognition that he deserves.