By John Furman

Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc

The House passed its tax bill last week which will effectively raise taxes on poor and middle-class New Yorkers to pay for a tax cut for the rich. At the same time, the bill will add 1.5 trillion to the deficit while cutting back on so many important services including health care. The Republican proposal will not stimulate the economy, create jobs or help middle-class people keep more money in their pockets. Instead, this is more of the failed “trickle-down” economics that has brought us to record inequality in this country

The bill now moves to the Senate. The Senate bill has some additional harmful aspects including repeal of the individual mandate which requires people to purchase health insurance. According to the Congressional Budget Office, removal of this provision could result in 13 million losing their health insurance. The Senate bill also completely eliminates the property tax deduction while in the House it was capped at $10,000. Both the House and Senate bills prevent you from deducting local and state taxes.

Voters oppose this plan by a 2-to-1 margin and the House Republicans who just voted for it will be held accountable for selling out working families to give tax breaks to their donors. Now, the question is whether Senators will abandon their promises to protect the middle class and reduce the debt in order to give a tax break to the wealthy and the well-connected.

This bill has disastrous consequences for Central New York.  The Senate tax plan would eliminate the federal deduction for state and local taxes (SALT). The SALT deduction helps state and local governments fund public services. Repealing the deduction would make it harder for  New York State which already faces serious budget strains to raise sufficient revenues in the coming years to invest in high-quality education, infrastructure, and other priorities that are crucial to our long-term economic prospects. Further, the proposal to end the SALT deduction combined with current slashes in federal funding will result in deep cuts next year to state and local services such as education, transportation, environmental protection, and low-income housing.

Here are some major points about this bill you should know:

The wealthy already don’t pay their fair share, but this plan gives them trillions in new tax breaks for doing nothing but being rich.

  • This plan gives the richest 0.1 percent an average $320,000 tax break and one-half of all the tax cuts go to the richest 1 percent of Americans.
  • The plan includes new tax incentives for companies if they ship their profits – and our jobs – overseas.
  • President Trump and his family will save at least $1 billion under, according to an analysis by NBC.

To pay for these tax breaks for the wealthy, the middle class gets stuck with the biggest tax hike in modern American history.

  • The plan will raise taxes on 45 million households, according to the Tax Policy Center.
  • The plan raises taxes for families who need long-term care and have chronic illnesses by eliminating the medical expense deduction, which helps nearly 9 million people with high medical costs.
  • The plan raises taxes on student loans by eliminating the student loan deduction, which nearly 12 million Americans use to be able to afford college.
  • Republicans even voted to overturn a rule that makes it hard to pass tax increases so they could pass this.

The plan puts wealthy corporations ahead of middle-class people.

  • For the few types of households that do see any tax savings under this plan, their benefits expire in eight years – but the tax breaks for big corporations are permanent.
  • While middle-class families lose deductions for things like moving expenses and state and local taxes, corporations will be able to continue deducting those expenses.

Beyond the tax hikes in the plan for the middle class, middle-class families and seniors will pay for these tax breaks with cuts to health care, Medicare, and Medicaid.

  • The tax bill will force $25 billion in immediate cuts to Medicare, according to the Congressional Budget Office, and will force $500 billion in long-term Medicare cuts for health care seniors depend on.
  • The tax and budget plan will slash $1 trillion from Medicaid, destabilizing state budgets and robbing kids with disabilities and seniors in nursing homes of their care.
  • The Senate bill even sneaks in a health care repeal, meaning 13 million people will lose health insurance and premiums will rise 10 percent.

Republicans are turning their backs on their promise to reduce spending and debt because this bill adds $1.5 trillion to the deficit.

  • Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich warned Congress to “be careful about adding an enormous amount of increase to the national debt” under this tax plan.
  • While Republicans may claim they will face a backlash if they fail to pass tax legislation, voters are actually rejecting this tax scheme overwhelmingly with 2-to-1 opposition (25% support / 52% opposition) in a newly released poll by Quinnipiac University.
  • More voters believe the plan will increase their taxes (35 percent) than decrease them (16 percent).
  • By 26 points (59 – 33 percent), voters believe the plan favors the rich at the expense of the middle class.

We are urging Central New Yorkers to call their representatives now to block this massive tax giveaway to the rich and big corporations at our expense.  You reach your member of Congress at 877-795-7862.

For more information, contact the Central New York Citizen Action at 315.725.0974/cnycitizenaction@gmail.com, or www.cnycia.org.

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