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Groups call GOP Tax Plan a “Lump of Coal” for Struggling Ohioans

Republican leaders hope to have their tax-reform plan on President Donald Trump's desk by Christmas. (Karl-Ludwig Poggemann/Flickr)
Republican leaders hope to have their tax-reform plan on President Donald Trump's desk by Christmas. (Karl-Ludwig Poggemann/Flickr)
December 19, 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Republicans are rushing to get their tax overhaul on the president's desk before Christmas - a plan that anti-poverty groups say is a generous gift for the rich and a lump of coal for those in need.

The executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, says the plan will increase the deficit by $1.4 trillion, undermining funding for programs that help the most vulnerable.

"That means families with limited resources will have less; there will be greater attacks on our nutrition assistance programs, housing, health care and education benefits - all in the name of providing tax cuts to millionaires, billionaires and corporations that are doing quite well in America today," she explains.

The bill could pass in both the House and Senate as soon as Tuesday, and supporters claim it will boost the economy. Opponents note the plan could result in higher taxes for individuals down the road while continuing lower tax rates for corporations.

Eight years after the end of the recession, Hamler-Fugitt says many Ohioans are still struggling to make ends meet. She explains there is record-high demand for emergency food assistance.

"More individuals who are working but those paychecks just aren't stretching to meet the overall cost of living, including increasing cost of housing, food costs, and more seniors than we've ever seen," she says.

She's also concerned Ohio's General Assembly will feel the pressure to fill the gaps caused by the federal tax cuts.

"Ohio cannot run deficits, so any cuts that are made at the federal level will require cuts to services that largely benefit things like schools, roads, parks, and libraries in the state of Ohio," she warns.

Data from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy shows that under the GOP tax plan, Ohio's top one percent will get a $47,000 annual tax break and the working poor will see a $370 annual reduction.

The tax break for Ohio's poorest? Just $100 a year.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH