GOP Tax Plan Declares War On Everyone Who Isn’t a Millionaire

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GOP Tax Plan Declares War On Everyone Who Isn’t a Millionaire

Republicans have tried to trick us unto thinking this tax proposal is a way to help small businesses stay competitive. Don't fall for it.

Representatives of progressive political activist groups join members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus for a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 4, 2017. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Representatives of progressive political activist groups join members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus for a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 4, 2017. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

After repeated claims by Republicans suggesting their tax reform plan would offer the middle class a much needed break, we now know that is a trick. Independent analyses have shown that rather than helping the middle class, the GOP would bilk working families to pay for a multi-trillion dollar treat to the wealthiest few. 

The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center found that under the Ryan-McConnell plan, 30 percent of taxpayers with incomes between $50,000 and $150,000 would see a tax increase, along with a majority of households making between $150,000 and $300,000. The TPC also concluded that 80 percent of the tax relief would be enjoyed by the top-earners comprising just 1 percent of the country’s population.  

That is certainly nothing that Americans want. A recent Pew Research Center report found little support for cutting taxes for high-income households (defined as more than $250,000) or large businesses and corporations. In fact, 43 percent favored raising taxes on high-income households and 52 percent said corporate taxes should be raised.

Yet, the Republicans persist with their dastardly scheme of raising taxes on hard-working middle-class families to make the rich richer. It is reckless to explode our deficit which according to the TPC, would skyrocket by $2.4 trillion over the first decade. 

A state by state breakdown provides a targeted view of the financial assault the GOP intends to wage on hard-working families. Studies show that in my state of Texas, the Republican plan would actually raise taxes on about 1.5 million households next year. On average, families earning up to $86,000 annually would see a $794.00 increase in their tax liability, a significant burden on families struggling to afford child care and balance their checkbook.

According to the IRS, 23 percent of tax filers in Texas deduct their state and local taxes, with an average deduction of $7,823 in 2015. The Ryan-McConnell plan eliminates this deduction, which would lower home values and put pressure on states and towns to collect revenues they depend on to fund schools, roads, and vital public resources. 

Another trick placing further strains on middle-class Americans is the elimination of the personal exemption, which deducts $4,050 for each taxpayer and dependent on a return from taxable income.  In 2015, roughly 9.3 million dependent exemptions were claimed in the Lone Star State. Losing this revenue would deliver a body blow to hard-working families.

Republicans have tried to trick us unto thinking this tax proposal is a way to help small businesses stay competitive. Trump himself actually read a speech about how the cuts would benefit truck drivers. But mom and pop stores and guys who haul freight for a living likely won’t benefit much. 

Instead, this plan will be an enormous boon to America’s millionaires, making it all the more unseemly. According to the TPC, by 2027, more than one of every four middle income families would pay more in taxes. By contrast, those earning about $900,000 and above in 2027 would get a tax cut, averaging $234,050. Sharing in this heedless windfall would be the president and most of his Cabinet.

The price the country would pay for this brazen attempt to steer all the treats to the rich is a massive increase to an already enormous $20 trillion national debt.  Working people understand that debts have to be paid back, either now by us or later by our children or grandchildren.  This is not the American way that promises each generation will be better off than the one that came before.

The American people deserve a tax plan that puts working and middle class families first, not more deficit-exploding tax cuts for billionaires.  We need bipartisan tax reform that creates jobs, fuels economic growth, and puts more money into the pockets of hard-working American families.

The wealthy and corporations must pay their fair share, but the Ryan-McConnell Tax Plan offers them a big bag of treats while tricking everyone else into paying their bills.

Sheila Jackson Lee

Sheila Jackson Lee

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee represents Texas’s 18th District.  She is a senior member of the House Committees on Judiciary and Homeland Security and is a ranking member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations. Jackson Lee serves on the Subcommittees on Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection, and Counterterrorism and Intelligence. She is the current ranking member.

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