GOP Tax Plan is Putting Wealthy First

After years of claiming to care about the middle class, this is the Republican’s vision of a fair and equitable system?

The Congressional Republicans’ recently released tax plan is nothing more than a handout to our country’s wealthiest individuals, leaving working class families out to dry. In fact, the top 1% of earners will reap over 80% of the tax benefits from this legislation.

I’m one of those one-percenters, and I’m here to tell the GOP: I don’t need your tax cut if it’s going to hurt the middle class. While I would personally benefit from the proposed GOP tax cuts, this plan is downright awful for the middle class and the rest of America. When you give millionaires like me a tax break, the middle class will inevitably pay, either by removing crucial state and local tax deductions or eliminating vital government services.

Beyond the fact that the tax cuts would overwhelmingly go to the people who need it least, the plan would also result in tax hikes for many middle class families.

An estimated 50 million people will actually see an increase in their taxes. And for all the talk about responsible spending, their bill would raise the federal debt by $3 trillion in the first decade alone.

Despite Republican claims that they that they would cut taxes for everyone (and earlier claims from the Trump administration that they would not cut taxes for the wealthy), this plan would actually take money from the pockets of average Americans, rather than cutting their taxes.

Beyond the outrage of raising taxes on middle class families, we all benefit from well-funded public services. We need elected officials who understand that it takes public investment to enhance our schools; it takes public investment to fix our roads; and it takes public investment to keep us safe.

Public investment helps struggling families pay for food, and it helps the chronically ill get the treatment they need and deserve. We should not shift benefits away from those who need it towards those who don’t.

This legislation reflects wishful, even magical thinking. Cutting marginal tax rates will not facilitate productive economic activity. So-called trickle-down tax cuts simply do not trickle down.

Proponents of this plan have made the wild, almost magical claim that drastically cutting taxes will not increase the national deficit, but rather increase public revenue in the long run, despite the fact that such a development has never occurred, Most economists believe that the administration’s growth projections are unrealistic, and that the notion that revenue could increase because of these tax cuts is simply voodoo economics.

Still, we must focus on this basic premise: trickle-down economics doesn’t work. Period.

If the post-Reaganomics era featuring recessions and high inflation is not convincing enough, look no further than the state of Kansas.

With control of the governorship and state legislature, Republicans in Kansas passed sweeping tax cuts, similar to those proposed in Washington today. Promising a “shot of Adrenaline into the heart of the Kansas economy,” the opposite effect prevailed, and perverse effects stunted the state for years.

Government programs faltered and job growth receded – hitting both the public and private sectors, and placing the highest burdens on the middle class. With low grades in public education and state services, eventually, Kansas officials cut their losses, overriding their governor to restore prior tax rates.

We should avoid the perils of the past as we pursue a prosperous future.

True tax reform should be based the following principles:

  1. No tax relief for the highest wage earners.

  2. Maintain the estate tax on large estates.

  3. Tax reform should not increase the deficit by one penny.

  4. Corporate tax reform should not be based on the bogeyman of fake high rates that almost no corporations actually pay – but should be based on the actual taxes corporations pay.

  5. Meaningful reform should revise the regressive structure of the social security tax and ensure it for the long term by removing the earnings cap to make sure high earners pay a full share of social security tax.

Cutting my taxes won’t do anything to help the rest of America. Elected officials from both parties should pledge to oppose any tax reform that would raise taxes on the middle class and work together to enact bipartisan tax reform that closes loopholes and eliminates the special interest favoritism that plagues our current tax system.

As originally posted on Daily Kos.

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