Charities worried about impact of tax reform

Fewer itemized deductions could lead to drop in donations

Here are some of the topics addressed by this week’s 4 The Record panel:

+ Republicans step up their push for tax reform. The House and Senate aren't exactly aligned.

+ President Trump blames the latest mass shooting in Texas on a mentally ill individual. What can be done about that.

+ Democrats pull off some surprising wins in elections across the country this week.

All things we talked about with former Rock Island mayor Mark Schwiebert, a Democrat, and Iowa Republican Party chair Jeff Kaufmann.

Tax reform

Here are some differences between the Republican tax cut plans from the House and the Senate.

Both would essentially double the standard deductions for individuals and couples.

The House would cut the current seven tax brackets down to four.

The Senate keeps them at seven while lowering the top rate.

The state and local tax deduction is a hot button issue.

The House would limit it to $10,000 for property taxes only. The Senate drops it altogether.

Both cut the corporate tax rate to 20 percent, but the Senate would wait a year.

Another difference is the estate tax.

The House would double the exemption to $11 million and eliminate it in 2025. The Senate would double the exemption, but keep the tax.

House Republicans didn't do themselves any favors when they referred to Americans who make $450,000 a year as low and middle income.

That's the top half-percent, not middle class.

Kaufmann and Schwiebert discussed whether the Senate or House version was more likely to get through.         

Charitable giving

Both plans could have a profound effect on charitable giving.

Doubling the standard deduction would cut the number of people who itemize and take advantage of deductions for charitable donations.

Charities are very worried about this.

Kaufmann and Schwiebert talked about what politicians can do to address it.

Texas shooting

Republicans point the blame on last week's church shooting in Texas on a mentally ill individual.

The president says it's not a gun issue.

It's fair to say no one wants to keep seeing deadly mass shootings.

The president's budget would cut funding for mental health treatment.

He also blocked a provision that prevented mentally ill people on social security from buying guns.

Schwiebert and Kaufmann discussed why this part of the equation is a political issue.         

Election results

Democrats enjoyed themselves this week after election wins across the country.

New Jersey and Virginia most notably.

Schwiebert and Kaufmann addressed whether it was a referendum on the president and how concerned Republicans should be going into the midterms, if at all.

Watch the entire panel discussion in the video above.

Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you. It's a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what's happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.

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