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Senate Insists On Obamacare Repeal In Tax Plan

Senate plans to end Obamacare mandate in revised tax proposal. NYT: “Senate Republicans have decided to include the repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that most people have health insurance into the sprawling tax rewrite, merging the fight over health care with the high-stakes effort to cut taxes. They also have made a calculated gamble to help speed their bill to passage on a party-line vote: Republicans revealed late Tuesday they would set all of their tax cuts for individuals to expire at the end of 2025, to comply with a procedural requirement. Their deep cut in the corporate tax rate would remain permanent.”

CBO Says Tax Plan Triggers $136B In Cuts to Services

CBO: GOP tax bill could force billions of dollars in cuts to programs like Medicare. Business Insider: “The Republican tax plan would force the government to slash billions of dollars worth of core services… A letter from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer said that due to a congressional rule, essential programs like Medicare and Border Patrol could face deep cuts unless some Democrats agree with the GOP to waive the provision. In question is the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act, or Paygo, that requires tax cuts and other types of legislation to pay for themselves or else triggers automatic spending cuts to offset any new debt added because of the legislation. According to the CBO, since the GOP’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) adds roughly $1.5 trillion in new debt over the next 10 years, Paygo would force immediate cuts in spending of $150 billion a year on average to offset the reduced revenue. The letter from the CBO said that the cuts in 2018 would total $136 billion, including slashing the budget to core programs like Medicare. The CBO said Paygo would force a cut of $25 billion from Medicare — the maximum amount allowable — and then other cuts totaling ‘between $85 billion to $90 billion’ from other programs like Border Patrol, the federal student loan program, and farm subsidies.”

Grad Students Face Tax Hike In GOP Plan

Grad students would be hit by massive tax hike under House GOP Plan. NPR: “There are a lot of anxious graduate students at universities around the country right now. That’s because to help pay for more than $1 trillion in tax cuts for U.S. corporations, the House Republican tax plan would raise taxes on grad students in a very big way. These students make very little money to begin with. And many would have to pay about half of their modest student stipends in taxes. ‘The past week this is what I’ve been talking about with other graduate students and classmates. I think we’re all shocked,’ says Tamar Oostrom. She’s in her third year of getting her Ph.D. in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She and her classmates have been crunching the numbers. ‘This bill would increase our tax by 300 or 400 percent. I think it’s absolutely crazy,’ Oostrom says”.

Domestic Violence Fuels Mass Shootings

Domestic violence and mass shootings: The link and the loopholes. WTOP: “Devin Patrick Kelley, who shot and killed 26 people at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, earlier this month, had been convicted in a military court of domestic violence and should have been ineligible to own a gun. He’s far from the only mass shooter with a history of abuse and violence toward women and family members. And two observers recently told WTOP that holes in the system mean that authorities are missing chances to keep guns out of the hands of abusers. Daniel Webster, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, told WTOP, ‘Virtually in all (mass shooting) cases, this was not an isolated incident; there were prior acts of domestic violence.’ Sheryl Gay Stolberg, a reporter for The New York Times, said that underreporting of domestic violence in the military is only one gap in the system that may be putting guns in the hands of people who should be forbidden them by federal law.”

More from OurFuture.org:

In North Carolina, Charter Schools Force ‘Zero-Sum’ Education. Jeff Bryant: “There are a lot of differences of opinion on charter schools, but one thing objective observers can agree on is they are divisive. As charter schools have grown more numerous, they’ve become increasingly unpopular, across political ideologies, and in community after community, their expansions now spark immediate opposition. North Carolina is no exception, and a recent forum in the state revealed these divisions run deep.”

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