The tax bill passed by Republican senators on Friday represents the most substantial overhaul to the U.S. tax code since the Reagan era. That legislative process in 1986 unfolded over six months, and involved more than a dozen public hearings. This measure was rushed through in weeks, with zero hearings in Congress. Last-minute changes were hand-written in the margins right up until a dead-of-night vote. Few of those who voted on it had fully read the text. Political imperative won the day.
Who are the losers? The country is still figuring that out. But, under both the House and Senate bills, there are plenty. Most Americans earning less than $75,000 a year would be worse off by 2027 than they are now, mainly due to the repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. The vast majority of benefits would flow to businesses and the country’s highest earners. The national deficit would increase by more than $1 trillion, triggering automatic cuts to many federal agencies and programs, including Medicare, and setting the stage for future showdowns over social safety net programs such as Medicaid and Social Security.
For most city dwellers, the most serious effects would unfold over years.