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Republicans have scurried behind closed doors to frantically iron out the differences between the House and Senate versions of their massive assault on our tax code. They have to agree on all the details, word-for-word, from the two bills passed in both chambers of congress to create one piece of legislation for this President to sign. They want this to happen before Christmas. While we don't know yet what will end up being in the fine print, there are several consequences from each bill that we do know.

1. The top 1% of Americans will pay substantially less in taxes, and some corporations may end up paying nothing. The corporate rate would drop from 35 to 20 percent. But many of the deductions and loopholes will allow corporations to pay much less – some would pay virtually nothing. Republicans continue to use the often-debunked idea of trickle-down economics as a way to convince us that jobs will be created by the corporate tax cut, and those corporate savings will be shared with workers. There’s no other way to say it — that’s a bald-faced lie. Major corporations continue to enjoy record profits, but their financial windfall doesn't trickle down to the working class in the form of higher wages. Republicans coined the term "Reaganomics" in the '80's to describe this trickle-down misconception. But for decades, the lion's share of ever-increasing corporate profits have been distributed to corporate shareholders, not the workers. Republicans want you to believe that profit-driven corporate executives, who are held accountable by their shareholders, will suddenly put the best interests of the American workforce ahead of their shareholders. Not hardly.       

2. Some middle-class tax payers would see a savings, others will pay more. Economists have repeatedly told us the economy is stimulated when people have more money to spend. But a sizable portion of the middle class will pay more in taxes, not less. People living in states with an income or sales tax will no longer be able to deduct those taxes from their federal tax return. Students will be taxed for tuition assistance. Mortgage deductions would be capped, and the property tax deduction would be eliminated. This is all subject to whether we are evaluating the House or the Senate bill. But when we spend our time debating which deductions for the middle class will help or hinder taxpayers we’re missing the most important impact of this legislation — the creation of an unsustainable national debt.

3. By taking in less money to the treasury, our national debt will increase enormously. Substantial tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy means there won't be the needed revenue source to pay the debt down, so it can only go up. According to the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, the projected loss of revenue equates to at least $1.5 trillion in new deficits over the next decade. Some economic analysts project even more. Think of it like a credit card bill. For example, if you’ve accumulated a $5,000 debt, but can only pay the minimum, your finance charges keep accumulating, and you’ll never pay off your debt. Now consider that you take a pay cut and have even less to help pay down your credit card debt. You continue to use that credit card and the interest continues to rack up, but you can't make a dent in paying it off. This is what Republicans are suggesting we do. The hypocrisy on display here is rampant. During the Obama administration, Republican leaders in the House and Senate railed against anything that increased the national debt. Today, Republicans voicing concern over a growing national debt are rarely heard on Capitol Hill. 

4. With substantially less money to spend, Congress will make major cuts to programs serving middle-class families. The House has already passed a budget that cuts nearly $6 trillion in Medicare, Medicaid, education and other public services. And now, in another attempt to kill the Affordable Care Act, the Senate version of the tax bill will end the individual mandate, leading to 13 million more Americans being uninsured.

5. Under the Republican plan, corporate tax cuts are permanent, while middle-class cuts will expire in eight years. Almost unnoticed are the near-term implications the Senate bill would have on those that can least afford it. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Americans earning less than $30,000 per year would be worse off by 2019, due in part to losing federal subsidies provided under ACA. By 2021, those earning $40,000 or less would be net losers. And by 2027, most people earning less than $75,000 a year would also be worse off than they are today. Due to a legislative process called reconciliation, Senate Republicans have the advantage of passing their tax-cut bill with a simple majority, rather than the 60 votes they would otherwise require. Reconciliation bills can be passed on spending, revenues and the federal debt limit once a year per topic. The federal government's fiscal year runs October through September. 

At a time when our nation desperately needs health care for all citizens, a massive infrastructure upgrade, and economic policy that narrows the wealth gap, not widens it, this Republican tax plan takes us in the wrong direction.

All you have to do is ask, WHO BENEFITS THE MOST?

Your vote can elect an independent-thinking leader who is committed to working for all of us. Vote to make a difference. 

Committee to Elect Christine Brown
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