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Currently Congress is talking-up tax reform. This will end with an estimated $1.5 trillion tax savings that will need to be filled to avoid adding to our already large deficit. $1.2 trillion of these savings will go to business and corporations. $300 billion will go individuals. To make this up they are removing deductions for student loans that approximately 40 million Americans use in their hopeful journey to the middle class. They are removing the deduction for medical costs (the largest amount) that 19 percent of taxpayers use to try and avoid bankruptcy. Gone will be the mortgage and property tax deduction that 73 percent of us use. They are eliminating the deduction for charitable contributions that 82 percent of Americans use at a time when they are cutting back on services for the needy. Also gone will be the use of state and local taxes to balance real income. (Now we will be twice taxed.)

There will be dramatic cuts for the wealthy. Any one making over $500k, about 2 percent of our citizens, will have taxes cut in half as the bracket goes to $1 million. The estate tax will be eliminated, benefiting a 0.1 percent of taxpayers. The rich get richer. They are also hoping that the reduction in corporate taxes will be shared with their employees. (Higher profits always are shared with employees.) What started out being touted as reform is more of the same. Real reform would benefit a higher percentage of Americans, and tax cuts would be calculated by how many taxpayers were positively affected; if a small percentage were to receive a large benefit, it could be rationalized as in the nations interest and security. All this will occur without much in the way of discussion. Rammed through Congress with a simple majority.

Tim Mikesell

Twin Falls

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