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GOP tax plan calculations are deceptive

first_imgFamilies with kids in low-tax states get more savings from the tax side, which outweighs the rising cost of their health-care premiums. And not everyoneis in the individual exchanges.The point is not that everyone is a loser. It is twofold: 1) There will be a lot of winners and some losers and a lot of people who break close to even, and 2)It’s not fair to disregard the cost the bill likely imposes for those in the Obamacare exchanges.Moreover, if the premium costs continue to rise at 10 percent, thanks to repeal of the individual mandate, the premium hikes will eat up a larger and larger chunk of the tax “savings” over time.And let’s discard the hooey that this bill is all about the middle class.A itemizing family with two kids making $750,000 or more in a low-tax state (e.g. Florida, Texas) saves nearly $20,000 (and probably isn’t in the exchanges).If the family can run some of the income through a pass-through, well, they’ve hit pay dirt. Let’s take a married couple making $70,000 in California. Go over to the the Kasier Family Foundation calculator and you find the Silver plan, with the subsidy, costs about $530 per month.Hike that 10 percent and over a year the couple is paying $636 more, adding to its loss (if they were itemizers in the example above) or wiping out its saving (if non-itemizing).That is the cost of this bill for those using the exchanges.Let’s take someone in Maine, just to pick a state.A married couple making $100,000 and itemizing is supposed to save about $930 per year.But the couple’s Silver Plan tax plan went up about $125 per month. That couple loses about $600 per year.Now, clearly there are winners even with the hike in the Obamacare premiums. Categories: Editorial, OpinionSpend some time on one of the many tax calculators out there to estimate the impact of the GOP’s tax bill, and you quickly find there is no average American.A married couple under one calculator making $25,000 to $75,000 with no kids, living in a high-tax state (and therefore itemizing) likely pays $120 more under the new plan; but a non-itemizing couple could save $520. (That’s it? Yup).Change the income to $350,000 to $750,000, and the savings for an itemizer soars to more than $13,000 (much more if you can run your money through a pass-through).But such calculators have a major omission.The bill also eliminates the individual mandate, which is estimated to increase premiums 10 percent (maybe there will be off-setting legislation passed in the Senate, but most likely the House would reject it).The GOP voted to cut taxes and raise the cost of health-care insurance for those in the individual market.center_img If Republicans think it is worth running up the debt, passing the tax bill to our kids and grandkids and cutting programs that benefit primarily middle- and lower-income Americans (we can’t afford them!) to reward these kinds of families, they should say so.(They should also acknowledge that they are grossly aggravating income inequality.)You can see why Trump donors at Mar-a-Lago are tickled about the tax bill.What’s harder to understand is why Republicans think much more modest-income people getting far less, paying more for health care and seeing the champagne celebrations at Mar-A-Largo are going to believe this was all done for the “forgotten man and woman.”The GOP must think the forgotten man and woman are dumb, blind or forgetful.Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Washington Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

Westinghouse gives insight into GE issues

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionAs a native of the Schenectady area and an employee of Westinghouse Electric Corp. during the 1980s and 1990s, I have been interested to read the recent series of articles about the history of General Electric, particularly during in that period. Mark Markovitz and others have described in these pages the negative impact that Jack Welch had on the industrial prowess of GE. His impact on industrial America extends well beyond GE, and the closest parallel could be his impact on Westinghouse.Both companies pursued the same strategy in the 1980s and 1990s, selling off manufacturing businesses and putting the proceeds into financial services. The strategy was successful for a time, generating revenue without investment in capital equipment, R&D, or a large, unionized work force.For Westinghouse, the day of reckoning came in 1991, with a number of non-performing loans related to commercial real estate. There was no government bailout for Westinghouse. Westinghouse had to bail itself out, setting in motion a series of events that led to the complete disintegration of the company by the end of the 1990s. Most of those businesses live on as parts of other companies, many foreign-owned.With the recent exception of the nuclear power business, most are successful under their current owners.The details are described in a series of articles, “Who Killed Westinghouse?” by Steve Casey, in the 1997 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and available at http://old.post-gazette.com/westinghouse.You might say that Jack Welch brought to a close the rivalry between the two companies that started when George Westinghouse championed alternating current and Thomas Edison championed direct current. Eric SchochCatonsville, MarylandMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

Coverage of golf needs expanding

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Except for the Leaderboard on the Scoreboard page, The Gazette sports section never has any PGA tournament coverage.Recently, when Phil Mickelson won, you had nothing. This week, because Tiger Woods was in the hunt, you had an article and two photos. I find your coverage to be very slanted. More golf coverage please.Ron DobiesScotiaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesSchenectady teens accused of Scotia auto theft, chase; Ended in Clifton Park crash, Saratoga Sheriff…EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

High Notes: Dip for cancer, hay for horses, silk for workers

first_imgCategories: Editorial, OpinionIn Schenectady, more than 100 Union College students braved the winter elements, then made it worse for themselves by diving into ice-cold water, all to raise money for cancer victims affiliated with the college. The seventh annual Dutchman Dip featured students in costumes, sports uniforms and regular bathing suits diving down a water slide outside the Reamer Campus Center. The annual event, organized through the Colleges Against Cancer club, this year raised money to help out Gina Brown, the wife of assistant football coach Peter Brown, who is in remission from stage 4 breast cancer. It also honored a former student, Justin Lloyd, who died in August from adenocarcinoma. Through Saturday, the students had raised more than $3,800. To see photos from the event and to make a donation, visit https://rally.org/f/dLZ931Z1Efk.In Clifton Park, a local volunteer at a horse rescue sanctuary is collecting recyclable cans and bottles to raise money to feed the horses. Ed Wagner has been the force behind Hydrate for Hay for the past three years. He collects recyclables and turns them into cash, which he then uses to buy hay for horses at the Peaceful Acres Horses sanctuary in Pattersonville. The sanctuary is home to more than 90 horses, ponies and donkeys that have either been destined for slaughter or otherwise were at-risk. The sanctuary makes horses available for adoption and also uses them for human therapy. In three years, Wagner has raised more than $8,000. Recyclables can be dropped off at several drop-off areas. Visit Facebook, #HydrateforHay, for more information about the fund-raiser. To learn more about Peaceful Acres, visit www.peacefulacreshorses.com.In Schenectady, a local woman, Nicole Snow, is helping women in India and Nepal earn a living wage by having them create yarn out of used fabric and selling it online. Darn Good Yarn helps the women in India and Nepal who work in women’s cooperatives. Through these cooperatives, the women reclaim off-cuts and discards from commercial clothing factories and use the material to spin sari silk yarn, a high-quality traditional fiber valued by hobbyists and knitters. Through its website, www.darngoodyarn.com, the company sells yarn, patterns, fabrics and clothing.High Notes is a feature of The Gazette Opinion section that spotlights the good being done in our communities by individuals, organizations and businesses. Reader submissions to High Notes are welcome. Send suggestions to Editorial Page Editor Mark Mahoney at mmahoney@dailygazette.net.More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homeslast_img read more

New houses at slump levels

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Welsh development scrum

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Industrial Looking for a fresh perspective

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Crossed lines

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Centrica expands

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Brum record at Brindleyplace

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