Congress has passed a sweeping tax overhaul, the Republican’s first major legislative victory under President Trump.
Analysts say there will be cuts across every income tax bracket. On average, taxpayers will see a savings of $1,600.
Democrats opposed the bill because they say the majority of tax relief goes to the very wealthy and corporations. Valley Congressman Raul Ruiz and both senators from California voted no, all are Democrats.
Local residents had varied reactions to the news.
“I think it’s great for big business,” said Scott Robertson, a local executive chef.
“I’m aghast, I’m very sad that this has happened,” said Bonnie Shively, a retired local resident.
“It’s all very confusing,” said Scott Harrah, a small business owner.
“It’s a lie when they say it’s for the middle class,” said Neil Ansari, who works in a commercial printing business.
You wouldn’t know it from President Donald Trump’s rhetoric, but an Associated Press fact check notes that the tax overhaul coming into effect is heavily tilted to the rich.
“Big huge business, bug huge rebate. Lots of money coming back,” Robertson said.
And you couldn’t tell from Democrats, but middle-class people are getting a tax cut out of the deal, too.
“It’s a giveaway for the rich. It doesn’t help the middle class at all, maybe a little bit, but those taxes are not permanent, whereas those taxes for the rich are permanent,” Ansari said.
Lopsided arguments have clouded the overhaul as it took shape over months and it seems the passage hasn’t put an end to the confusion.
“I think it’s still questionable on how it’s going to affect who and it’s all very confusing on who is going to get the tax breaks, upper class or middle. It’s all very confusing,” Harrah said.
Many middle-class Americans are concerned over what it means for them.
“We know they’re going to cut things that are going to have meaning for people, especially that live in the desert, and things like Medicare and social security. They’re going to have to support the revenue that’s being lost by these stupid cuts,” Shively said.
And for people on both sides of the aisle, it means different goals for the future.
“Small business owners like myself, doesn’t really affect us very much so I think the incentive is just working harder and work smarter,” Robertson said.
“Although this is going to be signed by Trump and become a law– it doesn’t mean it can’t be changed, and so that’s what I’m hoping for,” Shively said.