Tax Bill Repercussions: Church, Watch Out!

Tax Bill Repercussions: Church, Watch Out! December 20, 2017

tax bill repercussionsBelow is my, admittedly limited, take on the repercussions of the tax bill.

Keep in mind that because of my husband’s occupation, when he is home, we watch a lot of business news. It is neither Republican nor Democratic–just questions and concerns about various aspects of the economy.

1. Of course, the bill benefits the uber-wealthy. They bought and paid for those currently in office. Just a fact of life. We might as well get over it. Money always talks.

2. It will probably be genuinely helpful for the already employed, those with skills and education: they will see their incomes go up and more job opportunities open. In other words, if a person already has a spot in the current economic world, or expectations of one because of a decent education and work skills, she or he will benefit. That’s how trickle-down economics efficiently works.

3. The aim of “trimming the social safety net” is to kick the able-bodied unemployed out of it and back into a more productive economic life. Since we are at nearly full employment, there are likely not too many of them out there.

4. The people who will be hurt: those outside the current economic system who lack skills, training, or background to get and hold a job. Those who are caught up in the opioid addiction world: expect more suffering here. I can’t even imagine the fate of the mentally ill. There will be a lot of collateral damage on those who already have health problems and who use Medicaid to access medical care. Women and children currently in poverty will find themselves increasingly desperate. Diabetes, already at a high, will affect even more as the poor turn to cheaper and cheaper foods (i.e., sugar-laden) with their detrimental effects on the body. Many will die too soon.

5. School systems in high property tax states are going to take a terrible hit. Get ready for that.

6. Churches and other charitable organizations that have significant overhead will find themselves struggling to survive because fewer charitable donations will be deductible. This may be the impetus that shoves the church to return to its earlier iteration: more house churches, more “tent-making” dual-career pastors, fewer top-heavy bureaucracies (like the UMC), far more lay leadership.

7. Higher education will have to change radically. The private schools that rely on huge donations to fund scholarships so anyone who is not way past substantial wealth can attend will have to figure out a different, more cost-effective way to deliver education.

8. There will have to be a drastic reduction in expensive end-of-life medical care and interventions. That reduction is not necessarily bad. However, some will die needlessly as gatekeepers will deny more procedures to those who are past a certain age cutoff.

9. Unquestionably, we are moving in the direction of a “survival of the fittest” economic culture. That is a cruel place for many. Churches, already lifting a lot of the load of caring for the least and lost of society, will have to figure out a way to do more. There’s not going to be any other place to go for many.

What other effects do you foresee?

Photo credit: Visualhunt

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