Evidence is mounting that the Republican tax bill is just one mega giveaway to the ultra-wealthy, all at the expense of middle-class and low-income Americans, particularly those reliant on Medicare. Here’s a brief synopsis of how harmful this bill would be to average citizens. From the Washington Post:
The Senate Republican tax plan gives substantial tax cuts and benefits to Americans earning more than $100,000 a year, while the nation’s poorest would be worse off, according to a report released Sunday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
Republicans are aiming to have the full Senate vote on the tax plan as early as this week, but the new CBO analysis showing large, harmful effects on the poor may complicate those plans. The CBO also said the bill would add $1.4 trillion to the deficit over the next decade, a potential problem for Republican lawmakers worried about America’s growing debt.
By the year 2027, every single American making less than $75,000 per year would see a tax increase, while high-income earners and millionaires would continue seeing tax cuts. The Congressional Budget Office also notes this bill would bump 4 million people from their health insurance by 2019, and 13 million people would lose their health insurance by 2027. Those at risk of losing their health insurance are the very same people hit hardest by the Republican proposal to increase taxes on middle-class and low-income Americans.
As Republicans try to ram through this Koch brothers-driven agenda of tax cuts for the wealthy, they did manage to schedule a necessary Senate budget hearing to discuss the impact. So, how did the Republicans line up to defend this tax increase on 87 million Americans? They no-showed, apparently afraid of sound bites and real questions. From Bernie Sanders on Twitter:
Every Republican except the chairman has left the budget hearing on the tax bill. Why are they afraid to defend their plan to raise taxes on 87 million middle class households? pic.twitter.com/Wl7yytQFyD
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) November 28, 2017
Like thieves in the night, reminiscent of their attempts to pass a repeal of the Affordable Care Act without hearings and input from all senators, they are again ducking their responsibility to have open debate.
It is once again worth mentioning that the order to cut taxes for the wealthy came directly from the Koch alliance, when representatives of the Koch brothers told Republican leadership at a July retreat in Aspen, Colorado, that if they did not cut taxes for the wealthy and repeal the Affordable Care Act, the “Dallas piggy bank” that funds their gerrymandered campaigns would be closed for business. From The Guardian:
At a weekend donor retreat attended by at least 18 elected officials, the Koch brothers warned that time is running out to push their agenda, most notably healthcare and tax reform, through Congress.
One Texas-based donor warned Republican lawmakers that his “Dallas piggy bank” was now closed, until he saw legislative progress.
“Get Obamacare repealed and replaced, get tax reform passed,” said Doug Deason. “Get it done and we’ll open it back up.”
There is still time to stop this tax scam. Take one minute to pick up the phone and call your elected representatives. If you aren’t sure what to say, here is a sample script from the folks at the Indivisible Guide:
United States Capitol Switchboard
Caller: Hello! My name is [___] and I’m calling from [part of state]. I’m calling to let [Congressman / Senator __] know that I strongly oppose the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This tax bill is a scam that will give massive cuts to the wealthy, paid for by stripping tens of thousands of people in [state] of their health care and raising taxes on middle-class families.
Staffer: Thank you for calling! The [Congressman / Senator] is against the Republican tax bill; [he / she] does not believe we should give a tax cut to the wealthy and corporations or strip people of their health insurance coverage.
Caller: That’s great. I’m very glad the [Congressman / Senator] is standing with his/her constituents instead of standing with Donald Trump and his rich friends. [If speaking to Senate office: Will the Senator commit to withholding consent on votes in the Senate so that we have time to mobilize against this bill?]
Staffer: I haven’t talked to the Senator about that, but I’ll pass your thoughts along.
Caller: That’s what I expect out of the Senator. It’s not enough just to vote no, he/she needs to actively work to slow down the Trump Tax Scam and expose it for the scam it is. Democrats started withholding consent during the health care fight—and it worked. That’s what I want to see again here. Please take down my info so you can let me know what he/she is doing to slow down the Trump Tax Scam.
Staffer: I’ll pass your thoughts along to the [Congressman / Senator].
Caller: Yes please do, and please take down my contact information so you can let me know what the [Congressman / Senator] decides to do.