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January 2018

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GOP's Tax Scam

As I write these words, Congressional Republicans are getting closer to passing a tax-reform bill with far-reaching implications for our nation.

By the time you read this, it could already be law — and that would be disastrous for anyone who works for a living.

GOP leaders claim they are reforming an outmoded and burdensome tax system. But the truth is, this legislation isn't tax reform, but a tax scam, loaded with giveaways to billionaires and outsourcing corporations while increasing the financial burden on working families and the middle class.

Most economists and policy analysts agree — including the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office — that the GOP's claims that their tax plan will lead to growth, new jobs and relief for the middle class just does not add up. Take a look at what is in just the Senate version of the bill.

Businesses that create jobs in America would pay taxes on profits at a rate of 20 percent, while a big corporation that outsources those same jobs overseas would pay no taxes on the profits it earns from outsourcing. Richard Phillips, senior policy analyst at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, says that the GOP's plan would "create a tax incentive for corporations to move real operations and jobs offshore."

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that households making less than $75,000 a year will eventually see their taxes go up, while the Economic Policy Institute finds the top 1 percent will receive 62 percent of the tax cuts.

It would automatically trigger cuts to federal programs, including $470 billion from Medicare over the next 10 years. It also includes a provision that weakens the Affordable Care Act, costing 13 million Americans their health benefits.

The CBO projects that it would add $1.44 trillion to the deficit, starving the federal government of funds that could be used to invest in infrastructure, education, and research.

And by eliminating federal deductions for state and local taxes, it would drive up taxes for millions of families in states like New York and California.

There is no question that the GOP's tax plan would be an utter disaster for this country and for everyone who isn't a member of the top 1 percent.

IBEW members have been active in calling their representatives, telling them to reject any tax plan that puts more money into the pockets of the wealthy while making everyone else pick up the tab.

But real change will not come until we make our voices heard at the ballot box come this November. 2018 is our chance to put an end to policies that hurt the many, while benefiting the few and elect representatives who will fight for an economy that works for every American family. We cannot afford to sit this election out.


Also: Stephenson: 2017's Good News Read Stephenson's Column

Kenneth W. Cooper

Kenneth W. Cooper
International Secretary-Treasurer