New letter warns of conservatives seeing “an excuse for still deeper cuts” to social safety net
With President Donald Trump and fellow Republicans eyeing a second round of tax cuts—with a rollout possible this summer—130 organizations are urging members of Congress to reject them, because, like the first round, they will “primarily enrich the already wealthy” while threatening even deeper cuts to essential services.
“The richest Americans do not need another massive tax cut,” the letter from national groups including the AFL-CIO, Americans for Tax Fairness, Friends of the Earth, the National Education Association, and Patriotic Millionaires states.
The nation’s richest people and corporations, the letter states, “need to start paying their fair share so we have the resources needed to protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and to invest in education, infrastructure, and many more services working families and communities need to thrive.”
The GOP’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was signed into law December, with Trump declaring it “a bill for the middle class”—though mountains of evidence have refuted that claim. Instead, the unpopular tax cuts are working “as intended“—to fatten the pockets of the already wealthy.
.@SenSanders is right. Trump saying that the rich won’t gain at all under the #TrumpTaxScam is FAKE NEWS! The majority of its benefits go straight to the wealthy, rich CEOs, and big corporations — not working families. pic.twitter.com/ezLFgWeiKl
— For Tax Fairness (@4TaxFairness) June 13, 2018
The new letter points to what appears to be key priority in round 2, which is making permanent the individual tax cuts.
They are “heavily slanted toward the rich,” the organizations’ letter states, as they include “the reduction in the top individual income tax rate that exclusively affects the tiny percentage of people with annual income above $500,000 ($600,000 for couples), the special new deduction for individuals owning so-called ‘pass-through’ business entities, the tax cuts for multi-million-dollar estates (which doubled the amount of a couples’ assets exempt from the estate tax from $11 million to $22 million), and the increase in the amount of income exempt from the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).”
Extending these cuts beyond their current 2025 deadline, the CBO estimates, would cost an additional $650 billion over the next decade on top of the $1.9 trillion price-tag of the TCJA.
That cost will give Republicans “an excuse for still deeper cuts” to services including Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and environmental protection, the letter warns.
It concludes by urging the lawmakers to “oppose an extension of TCJA tax cuts and instead support legislation to ensure that the wealthy and large profitable corporations pay their fair share so that we have the revenue needed to invest in our families and communities to strengthen public education, fix infrastructure, make healthcare more affordable, assist families in need of affordable childcare, housing, nutrition and other basics, and provide a secure retirement with dignity.”
Their missive was released the same day as Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) rolled out an analysis showing that while the nation’s “Big 6” Wall Street banks—namely Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo—are making out like bandits from the tax plan, they’re throwing crumbs at their rank and file workers.
“Contrary to the rosy projections of the new tax law’s authors, corporate tax cuts are not ‘trickling down’ to workers but instead are pooling at the top benefiting CEOs and the richest 1 percent. That is sure to continue in future years—you can bank on it,” declared ATF executive director Frank Clemente.