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    What Has Changed with the GOP’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

    After coming out of tax season, we are entering the time where refunds are in the mail.

    Despite all the excitement surrounding the tax cuts, many of the refund checks we see might only be marginally different from last year. For some, this means a smaller refund. For others, this means that they owe more to the IRS than they have in years past.

    This has left many with questions. One of President Donald Trump’s big campaign promises was to create fairer taxation for the middle class. But there is more to taxes than we see on our refunds now in the mail. The GOP’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has been at work longer – and harder — than the many in the public realize.

    The perceived refund shrink is explainable. One reason is quite simple: lower taxes on your gross income each pay period. You might have noticed in February of last year that you had a larger paycheck each pay period than you expected in the past. This is because of tax cuts resulting in less money withheld from your pay.

    Another bright side of new tax legislation is a larger Child Tax Credit for children under 17 years old. Parents can now claim a CTC of $2,000 per qualifying child; a far cry from the $1,000 under old tax laws. This part of the GOP bill is set to be phased out by the year 2025 (Tax Act).

    Unfortunately, as with any tax-related legislation, things are complicated. How beneficial the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is to you depends on your income bracket. If you land between $9,525-$200,000 each year, you were taxed an average of 2% less. The same applies for an income of over $500,000 per year. Those that lie in the $200,000-$500,000 range saw no change to their paycheck (Tax Foundation).

    Also, if you didn’t adjust your W-4s for the amount you wanted withheld in accordance to new tax codes, you may have been impacted negatively (Time Magazine). This explains why some people might end up with an unchanged income compounded by a smaller refund.

    The GOP’s tax bill eliminated personal exemptions as well, which amounted to nearly $4,050 per filer in 2017. Personal exemptions were replaced instead by a standard deduction double what it has been in previous years. For example, a person of single filing status went from $5,650 worth of standard deduction to $12,000.

    All that said, there were also losers in the new structure. With the cap on state property taxes and elimination of the state and local tax (SALT) deductions, many who live in the New York, New Jersey, California and other highly taxed states will pay more.

    Year to year, tax codes are a daunting puzzle. Did you feel cheated or triumphant after winding through the maze of 2019’s tax season?

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    Wealth — Condemning the Rich for All the Wrongs

    We cannot deny that the prosperous and rich support much of our country’s industry, arts, and culture. If we increase their tax burdens, fail to defend their rights, or continue to demean their success, we only hurt ourselves. There is no union for the rich, but there are those who would seek to take advantage of their generosity. William Boetcker, a Presbyterian minister, explained it best in 1942. Allow me to repeat his words, “You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift, strengthen the weak by weakening the strong, help the poor man by destroying the rich, further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred, build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence, help small men by tearing down big men, lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer, keep out of trouble by spending more than your income, establish security on borrowed money, or help men permanently by doing for them what they will not do for themselves.”  Washington needs to learn those lessons. But we cannot ignore those among the prosperous who instead of feeding society, feed upon it. There can be no more robber barons and raiders who plunder, not to save businesses but to personally profit at the cost of jobs, families, and American homes.


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    Issues — Where I Stand

    I want to be sure you know the choice you’ll be making if you vote for me. First, I am a Republican. Some in the press claim many of my views sound more like a Democrat. They’re wrong. Voters agree with me because I speak from my heart and not from a party platform, or in lockstep opposition to anything an opposing party might say. But make no mistake, I am a Republican. I reject the agenda my Democrat opponent wants you to accept. So let’s make a few things clear.. .

    Abortion? It’s wrong except in very limited circumstances. But it isn’t for the government to pass judgment. God will,  when the time comes, and I believe his judgment will be damnation. So if you think I am pro-choice, you’re wrong. I’m against government substituting its partisan judgment for your personal decisions, however wrong I believe those decisions may be. And I’m against capital punishment even though I allowed a man to be executed who I could have saved. I regret that. That does not make me a Democrat. The truth is I can no more condone state-sanctioned execution of a murderer than dictate standards imposed on women where God sits in judgment. Does that sound inconsistent? It’s not. Those acts are for God to judge, not politicians.

    Taxes? Under the Obama administration, they’ve killed competition. Taxes need to be cut. So do pet pork barrel programs coveted by many politicians and beneficiaries of government largesse.  The past administration promised to end them. Instead, President Obama added more. They’ve got to go. Subsidies and stimulus? No. They don’t work. So I will make cuts, but only where they’re long overdue. I will not cut programs that help the truly needy. Welfare is important, but only for those who deserve it. Unemployment benefits are important, but only if they do not create a population of permanently unemployed. The past administration has allowed more than 50 percent of the working-age population to be on the dole. That has to end. No nation can survive under that model. And it will end under my  administration. Nor will I cut any program that ensures our national security. Indeed, I want more invested in our defense. I want the world to clearly know our security is paramount, and we will not tolerate any country that harbors those who mean to do us harm. education should be left in the hands of the states, not the federal government.

    Federal environmental regulations are out of hand. We can protect our air, water, and food without volumes of regulations that have no relationship to any logical need. I could go on, but I won’t. Just know when you pull the lever or press the button tomorrow, you are voting to put a Republican back in the White House who will put an end to waste and timid leadership, restore pride in America, and end the suffering a Democrat administration has brought upon every American family.