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Colleges see big drop in foreign-language enrollment; Kentucky advocates say it's time to bury medical debt; Young Farmers in Michigan hope the new farm bill will include key benefits regarding land access.

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The White House presses for supplemental Ukraine aid. Leaders condemn antisemitic attacks during Gaza ceasefire protests. Despite concerns about the next election, one Arizona legal expert says courts generally side with voters and democracy.

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Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

Anaylsis: House Tax Plan Tilts to Favor Wealthiest Kentuckians

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Monday, November 13, 2017   

FRANKFORT, Ky. – House Republican Party leaders call their tax plan a win for the American people, but some analysts argue the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would leave Kentuckians worse off.

The bill, which could come up for a vote this week, slashes corporate tax rates and modestly reduces household income tax rates.

Anna Baumann, a research and policy associate with the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, explains tax cuts for Kentucky's wealthiest 1 percent would average $28,000 in 2018 and grow to more than $41,000 in the next decade.

And while tax cuts increase for the rich, they become smaller for everyone else.

"So, the bottom 60 percent of Kentuckians, people who are making less than $55,000, would have their $320 tax cut in 2018 shrink to $190 by 2027," she points out.

The plan is expected to cost about $1.5 trillion over 10 years.

Republicans say the reforms will spur economic growth, create higher wages and stimulate business activity, thus generating higher tax revenues that can bring down the deficit.

Baumann doesn't agree, and counters that the tax cuts will put more pressure on federal and state spending.

"They'll end up costing us a lot of money, eventually forcing cuts to investments in our economic security and opportunity – things like SNAP, Medicaid, Medicare, education, community development,” she maintains. “Things that our communities rely on."

The House tax cut plan would cost an average of $150 billion per year over the next decade, which Baumann argues is money that could be used on other investments.

"It could double the Pell Grant program, could double cancer research,” she points out. “Fund the full backlog of maintenance that's needed at our national parks. Provide child care assistance to 6 million children, opioid addiction treatment for 300,000 people, and training for 3.5 million workers for in-demand jobs per year."

On Thursday, Senate Republicans released their version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Baumann says despite changes to the bill, it still contains many of the same basic flaws as the House plan.






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