“The bill Republican leaders are trying to ram through this week without hearings, without time for even a basic analysis of its likely economic impact, is the biggest tax scam in history. It’s such a scam that it’s not even clear who’s being scammed – middle-class taxpayers, people who care about budget deficits, or both. One thing is clear, however: One way or another, the bill would hurt most Americans.” – Paul Krugman, The New York Times
In Paul Krugman’s op-ed today in the New York Times, he pointedly lays out the biggest arguments against the Senate GOP tax cut bill, which the Senate is expected to vote on this week. To summarize:
- It’s a bait and switch. While some middle-class families will see modest tax cuts in the first few years, provisions that affect low- and middle-income families are temporary, and the benefits dissipate quickly. By 2019, Americans earning less than $30,000 a year would be worse off under the bill. By 2027, most people earning less than $75,000 a year would be net losers, and up to 13 million more Americans could be without health insurance.
- Republicans can’t have it both ways. GOP leaders claim that low- and middle-class Americans won’t really be hurt because the tax cuts for them, which expire after a few years in the current bill, will probably eventually be extended by another Congress down the road. But they also claim their bill will only raise the deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next decade and won’t continue to increase the deficit after that. But both can’t be true. The bill can’t both help the low and middle class in the long term AND not bust the deficit. And we know that, once this bill is passed, the same members of Congress who vote for it will suddenly remember that they hate the deficit. They’ll use a big increase in the debt – which they will have created – as an excuse to cut critical services like Medicare, Medicaid, SNAP/food stamps, education, housing, and so many other programs we care about.
- The tax cuts won’t pay for themselves. Out of 42 top economists surveyed, only one thought the tax cut bill would lead to substantial economic growth. And even that economist added, “Whether the overall tax plan is distributionally fair is another matter.” All 42 economists agreed that the tax cuts would substantially increase U.S. debt. As one economist noted, “Cut taxes. Lose money. Repeat.”
- In short, this bill is a tax increase on the middle class to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy.
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Whatever you do, however you do it, stand up, speak out. Tell the Senate: Not one penny towards tax cuts for the richest Americans and the corporations they run.