Bruce is an adjunct instructor of philosophy at Palomar College,San Marcos, California. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado. His major emphasis in philosophy is critical thinking, formal logic, and American pragmatism. He is also a poet, violinist, and raiser of back yard chickens.
Hello, Social Media. I'm ready to weigh in on the Trump "tax cut." I saw it reported that social media blew up at the beginning of tax season because many people - including especially Trump supporters - were outraged that they had received smaller tax refunds this year than they had in previous years. Some swore that they had been bamboozled and that they would never support Trump again. To this, sage conservative commentator replied that the size of the refund is not important if one has received a bigger slice of the regular paycheck throughout the year. That's a fair point, so I kept my tongue between my teeth and said nothing.
But, having just been to our tax accountant, I now realize that the charges of bamboozlement were utterly real, and cannot be easily explained away by conservative encomiums. My wife and I knew that we were in the vulnerable "middle" that was most likely to be hit by the tax reforms. So we re-positioned our withholding last year to prepare for the coming hit. Due to pay increases and good employment opportunities we made good money this past year, but dollar for dollar, we took home a smaller portion of each dollar than we had the previous year. To be clear: we did NOT
take home a bigger slice of our paychecks; we merely got bigger paychecks for reasons unrelated to the tax reforms. Could the good economy be responsible? Yes, of course. But the economy has been improving since 2009, after the crash. That fact that WE did not benefit from the improved economy until just this last year hardly redounds to the credit of Trump's tax "cut."
Now the bad news. This year we not only did not get the usual 1.5 to 2 grand that we normally receive in refund, we were told that we would probably OWE about double that amount. Worse, we claimed a tax rebate on our new solar electric system, amounting to about $11,000. So, if we had NOT had the rebate we would have owed well over ten thousand dollars! Next year we will not be able to claim a rebate, and we have already re-positioned our withholding substantially. What are we to do?
That's not a tax cut! By taking away deductions that we count on (such as un-reimbursed business expenses) the Trump tax law substantially RAISED OUR TAXES.
I'd like to end this rant by saying, "I'll never vote for Trump again!" But that would be unfair. I didn't vote for him in the first place.