When the tax cuts hit home in a good way, I worry a little less -- for now

Last Updated by Kevin Woster on

I'm not sure how much Mary and I will save under the new tax bill. Or even if we'll save. I haven't bothered to check. Because I don't much care.

We don't need a tax cut. Not really. It won't be enough to make a big difference in our lives. And even if in a tiny way, any reduction we get will take money from government services that might be essential to some, maybe to many.

That always troubles me, especially when you see the needs that go underfunded or unfunded.

The cuts will mean more to some families than they will to us, however. And I’m happy about that. Life-changing "more"? Probably not. Not to most. But even a little more money is good news or people who really need some good financial news.

What the cuts will mean for the future of the nation, and for those who need assistance the most, is still far from clear. The crazy rise in the stock market that began under Barack Obama and has surged under Trump is good for our modest retirement accounts. And the economy seems to be gaining speed.

I like the pay increases and one-time bonuses some corporations have given, while giving credit to the tax cut. And talk by Apple of a second corporate campus and more investments into the American infrasturcture is a hopeful sign that might be replicated by others businesses. I just hope such meaningful corporate gestures continue and magnify and spread so that wages overall can climb, for those who really need and deserve more money for the work they do. That can be life changing.

But I'm worried about adding to the defict. And I wonder whether the economic surge Trump and other Republicans predict will actually happen. I'm concerned that so much of the benefits of the cuts will go to be corporations and the wealthy. That's usually what happens with tax cuts, even when they are labeled as intended for the benefit of the rest of us.

There’s certain reason to celebrate here. But plenty to worry about, too.

If you think you know for sure on the tax cuts and what they mean for this country over time, you’re ahead of me. Way ahead. You're ahead of most Americans, too, if you go by the concerns reflected in unfavoriable attitudes toward the tax cuts in public-opinion surveys.

 But as some benefits of the tax cuts begin to hit home, public support for the cuts seems to be rising: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/16/business/economy/tax-economy-survey.html?em_pos=small&emc=edit_up_20180117&nl=upshot&nl_art=2&nlid=65970881&ref=headline&te=1&_r=0

I hope that increasing optimism turns out to be justified.

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of SDPB, Friends of South Dakota Public Broadcasting, or the State of South Dakota.