Take Action: November 15, 2017 Call for a bipartisan effort on tax reform

Please call your members of Congress today and ask for a bipartisan effort on tax reform. The proposed bills, which the House will vote on tomorrow (Thursday 11/16) and the Senate will vote on the week after Thanksgiving, are unbalanced and primarily benefit large corporations and those who are already wealthy. A better bill can be crafted if our leaders collaborate in a bipartisan effort on tax reform, but it will take calls and encouragement from constituents for this to become a priority.

One of the concerning aspects of the current bill is that the Senate has just added language that will repeal the healthcare individual mandate. which will result in 13 million more people being uninsured and insurance companies fleeing markets. Senators McCain, Murkowski and Collins have NOT come out against this, as they did against the healthcare bill. More information here.

We support and encourage dialogue across difference. When the two parties work together we are more likely to get a balance between extremes.

One perspective can be found at 5calls.org:

Update(11/13): The House is set to vote for their tax plan on Thursday, Nov. 16th. Senate Republicans have also released their own tax reform plan. While the details of the Senate bill remain in flux, it shares the House core goal of providing a tax giveaway to millionaires while offering little or no benefit to middle- and lower-income consumers.

The goal of the House Republicans’ tax reform plan, dubbed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, is clear: to provide corporations and the ultra-wealthy as many tax breaks as possible. The bill would permanently lower the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20%, gradually phase out the estate tax (which applies to estates with over $5.6 million in assets), and eliminate the alternative minimum tax (AMT) immediately. The AMT only applies to people who make more than roughly $130,000 a year; Trump paid an additional $31 million in taxes solely because of the AMT in 2005. Meanwhile, this plan offers no tax breaks to the bottom 35% of Americans and will increase the deficit by a whopping $1.5 trillion over the next decade. This deficit will in turn necessitate future cuts to critical government programs like Medicaid and Medicare; the Congressional Budget Office found the House tax bill would force a $25 billion cut to Medicare in 2018 alone.

To cover the revenue shortfall from slashing taxes for the wealthy and big businesses, the bill will eliminate a multitude of itemized tax deductions that typically offer relief to middle-class consumers, including deductions for student loan interest, adoption costs, alimony payments, and extremely high medical costs. As a result, any middle-class consumer who adopts a child, has costly student loans, pays more than 10% of their income on medical costs, and/or has multiple children could pay more under this plan. The larger standard deduction also means that middle class consumers have less of an incentive to donate to charity, hurting non-profit charitable organizations in the process. Further, the bill would eliminate tax incentives for using renewable energy while preserving tax shelters for the fossil fuel industry.

Meanwhile, this plan offers no tax breaks to the bottom 35% of Americans, and the bill’s massive deficit will necessitate future cuts to critical government programs like Medicare and Medicaid. The GOP claims their plan is designed to cut taxes for the middle class, but it is clear that their primary goal is helping the wealthy avoid paying their fair share in taxes. If implemented, these changes would result in the transfer of wealth from the working class to the rich and will continue to exacerbate income inequality in this country. Bottom line, this plan is a raw deal for Americans.

Possible Call Script: Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [TOWN, ZIP]. I’m calling to express my opposition to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. It is clear this bill is designed to benefit the ultra-wealthy and corporations while providing minimal benefits to most middle-class households. The bill will also create a massive revenue deficit, which will force immediate cuts to programs like Medicare. I ask that Rep. Vacant oppose this truly unfair and harmful tax plan. Thank you for your time and attention. [IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

Image Source: Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash