For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

NETWORK Lobby Responds to House Republican Tax Plan

"The House Republican tax plan fails our test for fairness and is inconsistent with Catholic Social Justice.”

 

WASHINGTON - In response to today’s unveiling of the House Republican Tax Plan by Representative Kevin Brady and Speaker Paul Ryan, Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice issued the following statement:

“The House Republican tax plan fails our test for fairness and is inconsistent with Catholic Social Justice. Rather, the Republicans double down on a failed economic theory of trickledown economics where the rich get richer and our nation gets poorer. Income and wealth inequality is one of the greatest social and moral challenges facing our country and this bill explodes the divide.  This is not a faithful way forward and must be opposed.

"Frankly, I am shocked that the majority of the talk is about how this bill will benefit a few rich people instead of looking at how these benefits are financed at the expense of middle income and working poor families – or what I call the vast majority of Americans. The Republicans are ballooning the deficit at the expense of future generations to give the wealthy and large corporations trillions of dollars in tax cuts now.

“NETWORK urges Congress to use our tax system to provide reasonable revenue for responsible programs and ensure everyone pays their fair share. Politicians must stop pandering to their wealthy donors and fulfill their Constitutional responsibility to promote the general welfare. This would be tax policy we can support.”

Low income families who use the Child Tax Credit – particularly immigrant taxpayers who contributed $23.6 billion to federal coffers in 2015 alone – lose under the House Republican tax bill.  The plan provides more money for wealthier families to access the Child Tax Credit, but does not improve the credit for low income families who need it most.  Likewise, the bill sets up a new family credit, but excludes families in poverty. Finally, it rips the credits away from 5.1 million children whose parents are immigrant taxpayers with an average annual income of $21,000, which is a loss of 8.5% of their annual income. This will directly jeopardize the economic, educational, and developmental outcomes of children living in the U.S.

The tax plan received a failing grade based on NETWORK’s Principles of Tax Justice which are three beliefs consistent with Catholic Social Justice:

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1. Tax rates should be progressive, and everyone should pay their fair share.

2. Tax revenue should pay for valuable public investments and set us on a sustainable path.

3. A just tax system should help us build a more equitable society and begin to reverse the damaging inequality created by prior tax policy designed to benefit the wealthiest.

"As expected, this bill creates new tax loopholes that allow those who make the most – wealthy individuals and big corporations – to avoid paying their fair share of tax creating a huge new incentive for big companies to outsource jobs,” said NETWORK Tax Lobbyist, Laura Peralta-Schulte. “This tax cut swells the deficit by $1.5 trillion and will be paid for by cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.”

“Congress is intentionally hurting children by stripping access to the Child Tax Credit from immigrant families,” concluded Peralta-Schulte. “The credit is vital to help families pay for basic needs.  Congress is taking away a credit that families use to buy new shoes for their children and put food on the table. It is mean-spirited and wrong.”

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NETWORK, advocates for justice inspired by Catholic sisters, educates, organizes, and lobbies for economic and social transformation. They have a more than 40-year track record of lobbying for critical federal programs that support those at the margins and prioritize the common good.

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