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[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 196 (Friday, December 1, 2017)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E1637-E1638]
From the Congressional Record Online through GPO

                              GOP TAX SCAM


                        HON. SHEILA JACKSON LEE

                                of texas

                    in the house of representatives

                        Friday, December 1, 2017

Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, it is not enough to subject the GOP tax plan to the test of fiscal responsibility.

To keep faith with the nation's past, to be fair to the nation's present, and to safeguard the nation's future, the plan must also pass a “moral test.”

This tax plan fails both the fiscal responsibility test and the moral responsibility test.

This tax cut package is a return to trickle-down economics.

This tax bill is a thoughtless and immoral GOP tax scam that will explode our nation's deficit and hurt poor, working, and middle class families.

It will explode the deficit by $2.2 trillion over 10 years.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has concluded that the Senate bill would, on average, raise taxes or reduce federal expenditures for households with incomes below $75,000 by about $60 billion

This tax cut bill is a repudiation of the social contract that F.D.R. announced in the New Deal.

The overwhelming portion of the bill is a lowering of the corporate tax rate, from the current 35 percent down to 20 percent.

In my home state of Texas, more than 1.7 million households earning less than $127,000 would see a tax hike.

The proposed elimination of the personal exemption will harm millions of Texans by taking away the $4,050 deduction for each taxpayer and claimed dependent; in 2015, roughly 9.3 million dependent exemptions were claimed in the Lone Star State.

In this tax bill, by taking away the student loan interest and educator expense deductions, more than 876,000 Texas students will lose an average credit of $1,063, while nearly 354,000 Texas teachers who buy notebooks and erasers for their classrooms will lose an average credit of $261.

The Republicans in Congress ASSUME that corporations will pass down savings to consumers.

But this never works. Corporations simply stash their money in tax havens.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the last time the GOP cut taxes for corporations, they spent as much as 90 percent of their windfall buying back shares, giving dividends to shareholders, stock options and executives.

This “tax bill” would lift a 1954 ban on political activism by churches, further blurring the line between church and state.

The House and Senate bills would circumscribe the ability of states and local governments to levy own taxes, which would force states to cut spending on health, care education, public transportation and social services.

The full 10-year plan for the bill reveals how bad it is: by 2027, individuals making between $40,000 and $50,000 would pay a combined $5.3 Billion more in taxes, while those earning more than $1 billion or more would get a $5.8 billion cut.

To quote the former Chief of Staff of the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation: “[This tax bill] is not aimed at growth. It is not aimed at the middle class.

It is at every turn carefully engineered to deliver a kiss to the donor class.”

According to the New York Times, in a recent survey of from the University of Chicago, only one of 38 prominent economists said the proposed tax cuts would yield substantial growth.

The proposed tax cuts would add to the long term federal debt burden.

This health bill would also alter healthcare in America.

Health Coverage would shrink in the United States, while wealthy estates would not pay at all.

The Senate version of the tax bill would cause 13 million people to lose health care and insurance premiums overall could rise by up to 10 percent.

This would result in savings of about $53 billion, which the GOP will use to fund corporate tax cuts.

America will not be made great by financing a $1.7 trillion tax cut for the rich by stealing $1.8 trillion from Medicare and Medicaid, abandoning seniors and families in need, depriving students of realizing a dream to attend college without drowning in debt, or disinvesting in the working families.

This bill is opposed by colleges and universities, too.

The tax cut proposal would end the deductibility of tuition waivers for graduate students, repealing the deduction for interest paid on student loans and taxing university endowments. [[Page E1638]]

According to the Brookings Institution, the endowment tax in particular, threatens the ability of low-income students to pursue college and graduate studies.

This is because endowments subsidize students from lower-income families, while allowing students across the board to graduate with less debt.

This bill is beyond sinister: the GOP tax bill is written so that in just 10 years, certain tax cuts (benefitting the wealthy) would remain permanent and paid for with other permanent measures that raise revenues or reduce program spending, while letting lower priority tax cuts (typically benefitting lower-income folks) expire.

That is why Americans reject this Republican tax giveaway by an overwhelming 2:1 margin according to a poll released yesterday by Quinnipiac.

Specifically, 61 percent think the Republican tax scam will benefit the wealthy the most; only 16 percent say the plan will reduce their taxes. 59 percent think it a very bad idea to eliminate the deduction for state and local income taxes.

Nearly half of respondents (49 percent) think it a bad idea to lower the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent.

In fact, the average annual tax cut for the top one-tenth of one percent is $320,000; for the top one percent it is $62,000, and for those earning $1 million a year it is $68,000.

Nearly 25 percent of the tax cut goes to households in just the top one-tenth of one percent, who make at least $5 million a year (2027).

While super-wealthy corporations and individuals are reaping windfalls, millions of middle-class and working families will see their taxes go up: 13 million households face a tax increase next year. 45 million households face a tax increase in 2027. 29 million households (21 percent) earning less than $100,000 a year see a tax increase.

On average, families earning up to $86,000 annually would see a $794 increase in their tax liability, a significant burden on families struggling to afford child care and balance their checkbook.

It is shocking, but not surprising, that under this Republican tax scam, the total value of tax cuts for just the top one percent is more than the entire tax cut for the lower 95 percent of earners.

Put another way, those earning more than $912,000 a year will get more in tax cuts than 180 million households combined.

Mr. Speaker, an estimated 2.8 million Texas households deduct state and local taxes with an average deduction of $7,823 in 2015.

But this is not the end of the bad news that will be delivered were this tax scam to become law, not by a long shot.

Equally terrible is that this Republican tax scam drastically reduces the Earned Income Tax Credit, which encourages work for 2.7 million low-income individuals in Texas, helping them make ends meet with an average credit of $2,689.

The EITC and the Child Tax Credit lift about 1.2 million Texans, including 663,000 children, out of poverty each year.

So to achieve their goal of giving more and more to the haves and the “have mores,” our Republican friends are willing to betray seniors, children, the most vulnerable and needy, and working and middle-class families.

The $5.4 trillion cuts in program investments that will be required to pay for this tax giveaway to wealthy corporations and individuals will fall most heavily on low-income families, students struggling to afford college, seniors, and persons with disabilities. ____________________

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