Taxpayers here and across the nation are trying to determine the impacts of a GOP-led tax overhaul Congress passed Wednesday.

President Donald Trump, along with both of Houma-Thibodaux's congressmen, hail the bill as a major plus for ordinary Americans and the economy overall.

But critics say the plan will benefit the rich and major corporations more than middle-income taxpayers and will add more than $1 trillion to the national debt.

Many experts say the impact on specific people's wallets probably won't be known until they see some of the changes on their paychecks starting early next year and file their tax returns in 2019.

The rhetoric on both sides, along with the bill's complexity, has made it difficult for ordinary Americans to understand the potential pros and cons.

A few things, however, are clear:


The fact that only GOP members in both the House and Senate voted for the bill -- not a single Democrat supported it -- shows just how divided our Congress and our country are along partisan lines. Regardless of which side you're on, if any, that bodes poorly for the nation and its ability to include everyone in addressing major issues like tax reform.
The possibility of adding to a national debt that already hovers at $20 trillion is cause for concern. This is not a partisan view. We hope the GOP and Trump are correct when they say economic growth spurred by the tax cuts will bring in more than enough money to compensate for the lost revenue. If it doesn't, however, Congress has again taken an action that will benefit the current generation of Americans at the expense of their children and grandchildren, who will have to pay the debt.
The action may have originated from Washington, but this is a local issue. It will affect every single one of us -- for better or worse.

That's why it's important for citizens and taxpayers to study up and understand how the bill will affect them, their community and the nation. Once the dust settles, and the results become clearer, voters will get the chance to express their pleasure or displeasure at the polls.  

-- Editorials represent the opinion of the newspaper, not of any individual.