Issue Report ● GOP Tax Law
For Immediate Release: 
December 12, 2017
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
In less than two months, Republicans jammed their tax scam through the House and the Senate and are now writing the conference report in secret, behind closed doors. No one expects the bill will meet the promises that Republicans made that it will provide relief to the middle class. Instead, the bill would: 
  • Raise taxes on 78 million middle-class families
  • Kick 13 million Americans off their health care coverage 
  • Increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion in the next ten years
  • Remove deductions that many middle-class families claim, including the deductions for student loan interest rates and medical expenses, in the House bill. 
The Washington Post highlights how the tax bill fails to deliver for the middle class:   
“[The GOP tax scam] was supposed to deliver benefits predominantly to average working families, not corporations… But the final product is looking much different, the result of a partisan policymaking process that largely took place behind closed doors, faced intense pressure from corporate lobbyists and ultimately fell in line with GOP wish lists.”

“As top lawmakers from the House and the Senate now rush to complete negotiations to push the tax plan into law, it amounts to a massive corporate tax cut, with uneven — and temporary — benefits for the middle class that could end up increasing taxes for many working families in future years.

“All told, the plan would cut taxes for businesses by $1 trillion, would cut an additional $100 billion in changes to the estate tax for the wealthy, and spreads the remaining $300 billion over 10 years among all households at every income level.”

“In effect, Republicans handed $200 billion from families to corporations.
In their rush to pass the bill, Republicans have held no hearings, heard from no witnesses, and received no input from the public. The result of their breakneck pace is a bill that is riddled with errors and filled with special interest provisions.
“Republicans’ tax-rewrite plans are riddled with bugs, loopholes and other potential problems that could plague lawmakers long after their legislation is signed into law.”

Some of the provisions could be easily gamed, tax lawyers say. Their plans to cut taxes on ‘pass-through’ businesses in particular could open broad avenues for tax avoidance.”

“Some provisions are so vaguely written they leave experts scratching their heads, like a proposal to begin taxing the investment earnings of rich private universities’ endowments. The legislation doesn’t explain what’s considered an endowment, and some colleges have more than 1,000 accounts.”

“‘The more you read, the more you go, ‘Holy crap, what’s this?'’ said Greg Jenner, a former top tax official in George W. Bush’s Treasury Department. ‘We will be dealing with unintended consequences for months to come because the bill is moving too fast.’”
Republicans are moving their tax plan toward final passage at stunning speed, blowing past Democrats before they’ve had time to fully mobilize against it but leaving the measure vulnerable to the types of expensive problems popping up in their massive and complex plan.”

Questionable special-interest provisions have been stuffed in along the way, out of public view and in some cases literally in the dead of night. Drafting errors by exhausted staff are cropping up and need fixes, which must be tackled by congressional negotiators working to reconcile competing versions of the legislation passed separately by the House and the Senate.”

“And the melding process underway has opened the door to another frenzy of 11th-hour lobbying as special interests, including President Trump’s rich friends, make one last dash for cash before the final bill speeds through both chambers of Congress and onto Trump’s desk. Passage is expected the week before Christmas.”

“‘I think it would have looked better if we had taken more time and had more transparency, had more open committee hearings,’ said freshman Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.).”

It should come as no surprise that the bill to raise taxes on millions of middle-class families while giving tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations is deeply unpopular: 

A USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll released on December 10 shows the GOP tax scam has the “lowest level of public support for any major piece of legislation enacted in the past three decades.”
  • Just 32% of Americans support the GOP tax scam.
  • 53% say the tax scam won't help the economy in a major way.
  • 64% say the bill will give the wealthy the most benefits.
A recent CBS News poll released on December 7 shows the GOP tax scam faces opposition from a majority of Americans: 
  • 69% of Americans say the GOP tax scam helps the wealthy.
  • 54% of Americans say the GOP tax scam favors big donors.
  • 61% of Americans say Medicare and Social Security cuts will ultimately pay for the GOP tax scam.
  • 68% of Americans say changes in the Affordable Care Act should not be in the GOP tax scam.
Instead of wasting time on the tax bill, Republicans should be working to responsibly fund the government before December 22nd and address a lengthy list of priorities with expiring or expired deadlines before the end of the year:
  • Reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program: states are already taking steps to shut down their CHIP programs as Congress fails to act.
  • Reauthorize expiring Medicare programs and other health extenders, including funding for community health centers that provide access to care for underserved populations.
  • Protect DREAMers: approximately 122 DACA recipients are losing protections every day.  
  • Reauthorize the National Flood Insurance program for millions of Americans prone to flooding.
  • Reauthorize Section 702 of FISA to protect a critical intelligence tool that keeps Americans safe.
  • Provide funding for Veterans Affairs Choice programs.
Click here to read the PDF. 

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