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As is the case with many pieces of legislation, the recent tax reform was met with starkly contrasting opinions from both sides of the aisle.
While the GOP championed their victory, others felt it gave too much to corporations, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called what the American people would receive “crumbs.”
However, for some Americans, what is considered to be only a minor change is having a major impact on their lives.
“For the next 10 years that would equate to $16,640.”
For Brad H., who runs the hardscape division of a landscape company, the tax reform means an extra $128 per month. He told IJR that he plans to put the money he's no longer spending on taxes towards his two sons' college educations.
His first son will start college in summer of 2019, and in the same year he graduates, his second son will start. He told IJR in reference to his savings:
“For the next 10 years that would equate to $16,640. I expect the total cost of both of my sons' education to cost me about 160,000,” Brad said. “That is more than 10 percent of that.”
Many recent college graduates have found that it's hard to get a step up in life when the financial burden of an education lingers, and Brad is working to prevent that for his children.
“I want them to graduate without any debt,” he added.
Brad explained that the current administration's tax reform for individuals and businesses is “paying off big to the 'little people.'” Brad encouraged lawmakers to “open their eyes” to the reality of what is taking place in America's economy, citing wage increases, bonuses, and record-breaking low unemployment.
“Every little bit helps.”
Brittany H., a kitchen designer, saw an increase of $80 in her paycheck for a total of $160 a month for her and her husband.
“We plan to put it aside into our 'baby savings account' because we [are exepecting] a little boy due in July,” she told IJR.
The mother-to-be added that it helps to cover the doctor's bills that come with being pregnant and an extra $1,920 each year “will definitely help us long term.”
After their son is born, that money can then go towards gas and groceries as “every little bit helps.”
She encouraged legislators on both sides of the aisle to continue to advocate for tax reform because “this extra cash coming in each month really will make a huge difference in so many people’s lives.”
“It is time that the middle class had their fair share of help.”
Kari D. received an additional $250 a month and as the mother of a 6-month-old son, the additional funds are going to help pay for formula, diapers, daycare and other expenses that come with raising a child.
“It is time that the middle class had their fair share of help,” she told IJR. “We work hard to put food on our tables and deserve a break too.”
“My son is also active duty Navy so we like to help his family out...”
Suzy L. is retired, but her husband, Alan, works as an IP network architect and saw an increase of $162 in his bi-weekly paycheck.
When they first got married, she explained they didn't have “two pennies to rub together.” But now, they consider themselves “extremely fortunate people” who can afford to be generous with their church, their college alma mater, and her son, who's serving his country.
“My son is also active duty Navy so we like to help his family out as much as we can,” she told IJR, “helping to send their daughters to a church school and help with vacations.”
Long term, she hopes the money will help her husband to be able to retire so they can spend some time together.
“We save every bit of money we can,” she said and added that if she felt the federal government wasn't wasting the money they earn, she'd be a lot less unhappy at the amount of taxes she's been paying.
A strong critique of the tax reform legislation has been that it will exorbitantly increase the national debt and that it doesn't do enough to provide relief middle-class Americans. However, for these taxpayers, the extra bit in each paycheck has been a welcomed change.