To finance a permanent cut in the corporate tax rate, the revised bill permanently repeals the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate — the requirement that people get health insurance or pay a penalty — which would leave 13 million more people uninsured, raise premiums for millions more, and create uncertainty across the health insurance market. In addition, it proposes a permanent change in the tax code that would raises taxes on many low- and middle-income individuals who would get little or nothing from the permanent corporate rate cuts. While all those measures would be permanent, other proposals meant to benefit middle-class families — such as expanding the standard deduction, expanding the Child Tax Credit (CTC), and lowering tax rates —would expire after eight years. And even though the revised bill provides a larger increase in the CTC than Chairman Hatch’s original bill, it continues to provide only a token increase ($75 or less) to 10 million children low-income working families.
The Chairman’s revisions to his original bill reflect the fundamental trade-off at the core of every Republican tax plan of recent weeks: large, permanent tax cuts for profitable corporations, along with tax changes that don’t help or even hurt low- and moderate-income families. Hatch’s changes come to a bill that already provided large benefits to the wealthy, including a significant cut in the estate tax that only the top two out of every 1,000 estates face to begin with; a tax cut for “pass-through” income that the owners of such businesses as partnerships, S corporations, and sole proprietorships claim on their individual tax returns and that’s taxed at the same rates as wages and salaries; a repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax that’s designed to ensure that the wealthiest households pay at least some minimum level of tax; and a cut in the top individual income tax rate — all while providing little if anything for millions of low- and middle-income families.