Letters to the Editor

Deficits from tax cuts, but not for Blum

Based on the estimated value range of assets listed in U.S. Rep. Rod Blum’s disclosure statement, the minimum, median, and maximum values of his wealth would be $10.2 million, $23.5 million, and $36.8 million. This is helpful because, according to the appendix of a landmark study on wealth inequality written by Emmanuel Saez and other researchers in 2014, Blum would be within the top 0.1 and 0.5 percent thresholds of wealth distribution. Critically, the average incomes of households within these brackets are $2.62 and $7.56 million, in 2018 dollars.

Recent passage of tax cuts bill makes this very relevant because the non-partisan Tax Policy Center found average savings for the top 1 percent and 0.1 percent of income distribution would be $61,940 and $285,490. Disturbingly, though, they also found the lowest quintile will only receive $130.

Moreover, these benefits will come at the cost of a $3.1 trillion cut in spending over the next decade, which will include a 7.2 percent reduction in Medicare expenditures. However, the Tax Policy Center projects a deficit of 7.4 percent of GDP by 2028, or $2.206 trillion, which far exceeds official figures. Therefore, more cuts will be forthcoming, which will likely lead to net welfare losses for many households because Republicans are bound to target the social safety net first, or maybe flood wall funding.

Regardless, Blum could be a few hundred thousand dollars ahead each year, so all will be well.

Scott Roland

Cedar Rapids

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