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WaPost editorial blasts spending bill as handout to upper-middle class

The editorial board of The Washington Post on Friday bemoaned Congress’s newly-passed spending bill in an op-ed, labeling the legislation as one that values the upper-middle class and neglects the “working poor.” 

The Post explains the term “REVEALED PREFERENCE,” referring to a word that economists use to analyze the ways that markets and economic systems are set up to help certain individuals or groups in societies. 

“Based on tax provisions Congress attached to the must-pass spending bill that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump alludes to possible 2024 run in White House remarks Trump threatens to veto defense bill over tech liability shield Tiger King's attorney believes they're close to getting pardon from Trump MORE signed last week, we’d say lawmakers have revealed a preference for the care and feeding of the already comfortable upper-middle class” the board writes. 

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The board also says that the $1.4 trillion spending bill falls short because it fails to meet the needs of the working poor by not expanding the earned income tax credit (EITC), a measure that would serve as an income supplement for low-wage earners. 

The board does acknowledge that some effort was made to expand this tax refund by the left. 

“Democrats pushed measures to nearly triple the maximum EITC for such workers from $529 to $1,464 per year and to make workers under age 25 eligible, but such proposals got left on the cutting-room floor” the board added.  

Most notably, the board writes, Congress’s inclusion of the “puzzling new benefits” for tax-free 529 college savings accounts was a meager effort to address the student loan debt crisis that would only affect a “well-off minority.” 

However, The Post welcomes certain aspects of the Secure Act, also included in the spending package, that allow small businesses to offer 401Ks to full- and part-time employees. 

The op-ed comes after President Trump signed the $1.4 trillion spending package to avoid a shutdown Dec. 20. Previously, a shadow of doubt loomed over the bill, as Congress was unsure they could come to a bipartisan agreement over certain funding aspects like the president’s border wall project. 

Among other things, the bill notably includes legislation to increase the legal age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21, as well as scraps three taxes to help pay for ObamaCare. Ultimately, Congress refused to pay for the $5 billion border wall.