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Fight the GOP Tax Bill, November 14 Update

Fight the GOP tax bill, as you have been doing.

We began daily updates on this topic back on November 3. We have woven updated material throughout this post. Please continue to call your MoCs to fight this craptastic bill.

Putting this up here, and also down below, to make sure it’s not missed: The folks at Not One Penny are holding anti-tax bill rallies at various places across the country on November 14, 16, and 18, and they might be adding more as we type this.

Plug your zip code into the link below to find the event closest to you:

https://notonepenny.org/take-action/#events

The tarp came off the GOP tax bill on Thursday November 2. We need to call our MoCs and keep calling to make our opposition known.

This bill is lousy. It blows a $1.5 trillion hole in the deficit, which sets the Republicans up to force unwanted Medicare, Medicaid, and ACA cuts down the line. It lightens the tax burden of the wealthy, and it does so at the expense of the rest of us. The only people who want to see that happen are a fraction of the one percent.

As mentioned in previous posts, the GOP bill would flat-out eliminate the estate tax, a tax that hits the exceptionally wealthy. The tax is also philosophically important. We’re Americans. We don’t want an aristocracy, we want a meritocracy. The estate tax nips aristocracy in the bud. We need to keep it.

The bill would also eliminate tax deductions for medical expenses, state and local taxes, interest on student loans, a tax break that helps teachers buy supplies for their classrooms, and a tax credit that encourages employers to hire military veterans. Tellingly, it keeps the carried interest provision, which allows managers of hedge funds and other financial funds and investment partnerships to be taxed at a lower rate.

Oh, and here’s a not-at-all-surprising fact: It keeps a deduction for golf course owners. Read about it in this Bloomberg piece:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-09/one-tax-loophole-untouched-so-far-the-trump-golf-course-break

Senator Mitch McConnell has since admitted what has been glaringly evident for more than a week: The bill raises taxes on the middle class. (Admittedly, the Senate is working on its own version of the bill, which might be marginally better to the middle class than the House version, but still.)

 

In short: The GOP tax bill whacks you and pretty much everyone you know while fattening the bank accounts of people who are already insanely wealthy already, and it encourages the creation of more people like Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Trump, Jr., who were born on third base and genuinely think they hit a triple.

We at OTYCD are going to treat the tax bill like we treated the fight against Trumpcare–we’re going to devote new posts to it every weekday until the danger has passed, and putting out two new posts when we have urgent, time-sensitive matters to attend to, such as the November 7 elections (if you’re one of the one in three Americans who has a state or local election going on that day, please educate yourself on the issues and show up and vote).

We also encourage you to ask friends and family in other states to call their MoCs to oppose the tax bill.

There is good news. Members of Congress are already coming out against the bill. John McCain, who helped kill Trumpcare because his colleagues were not following normal order, repeated the need for the tax bill to follow normal order as well. See this Bloomberg piece:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-26/mccain-calls-for-bipartisan-tax-effort-just-like-on-health-care

A majority of the general public seems to recognize that the GOP tax cuts favor the wealthy:

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/60-percent-americans-trump-tax-plan-benefit-wealthy/story?id=50891221

On the bad-news side, it seems that the GOP has an extra-strong motivation to get something, anything passed that resembles a tax bill. Evidently, many of their donors have told them they will stop giving them campaign money if they don’t pass it:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/gop-donors-to-gop-lawmakers-yeah-we-will-cut-you-off-absent-tax-reform

This is not your problem. Elected officials should serve their constituents and reflect their priorities, not those of a minority of super-rich donors. But be aware that the GOP is feeling even more panicked and cornered than they did on Trumpcare, and they might try garbage moves that hurt us all in hopes of keeping the money flowing.

And! (Because you know there’s an and…) Republicans are indicating that if they succeed in passing this bill, they will use the trillion-dollar hole it blows in the deficit as an excuse to turn around and cut Medicare and Social Security.

In a CNBC interview, Gary Cohn, director of the White House National Economic Council, said as much, calling these benefits “welfare,” which they are not (bold is ours):

Harwood: Are you thinking that you’ll deal with that Social Security/Medicare/baby boomer retirement issue later by entitlement reform that reduces benefits?

Cohn: Look, the president on the economic front laid out three core principles. Number one was reg reform, number two was taxes and number three was infrastructure. We’re working our way methodically through reg reform, taxes and infrastructure. I think when he gets done with those, I think welfare is going to come up. That’s our near-term economic agenda right now.

See the full interview here:

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/09/gary-cohn-trickle-down-is-good-for-the-economy.html

 

The thoroughgoing lousiness of the tax bill and the GOP desperation to push it through is why we at OTYCD are clearing the decks of scheduled posts and asking you to focus solidly on opposing this every day until it is dead.

 

Around November 10, the bill was voted out of the House Ways and Means Committee. It should have a floor vote during the week of November 13.

Topher Spiro pointed out that 20 Republican house members have voiced opposition to the cuts; three more ‘no’ votes should kill the bill. He’s been circulating a list of Republican reps who might be most receptive to their constituents:

Jeff Denham, California

Darrell Issa, California

Steve Knight, California

Ed Royce, California

Mimi Walters, California

Mike Coffman, Colorado

Carlos Curbelo, Florida

Brian Mast, Florida

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida

Rodney Frelinghuysen, New Jersey

David Joyce, Ohio

Ryan Costello, Pennsylvania

Charlie Dent, Pennsylvania

Pat Meehan, Pennsylvania

Barbara Comstock, Virginia

 

Sample calling script: Dear (House Rep/Senator Lastname), I am (Firstname Lastname, from town, state). I am calling to voice my opposition to the GOP tax bill, which was unveiled on November 2. This bill is irresponsible and it benefits the exceptionally wealthy at the expense of every other class that pays income tax. It eliminates the estate tax while taking away tax deductions for medical expenses, student loan interest, state and local taxes, and deductions that teachers use when buying classroom supplies and that encourage employers to hire veterans. It also blows a $1.5 trillion dollar hole in the deficit. I am asking you to vote no on this bill. Thank you for listening.”

 

If you didn’t start following these four during the Trumpcare fight, do so, and add the fifth, a tax expert from the Obama administration:

@benwikler

@celeste_p

@aslavitt

@topherspiro

@sethhanlon

These last two primarily cover health care, but they’re covering the tax bill because it affects health care, too.

These folks, particularly the first two, will have news updates faster than OTYCD, which does one new post per day.

 

Other resources follow.

 

Check out the Trump Tax Tool Kit:

https://trumptaxtoolkit.org

 

Check out Not One Penny:

https://notonepenny.org

 

Here’s a bundle of links to various stories about the GOP tax bill and assorted aspects of the bill:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/11/02/winners-and-losers-in-the-gop-tax-plan/?utm_term=.d004e6b965c6

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/the-finance-202/2017/11/03/the-finance-202-wall-street-escapes-gop-tax-cutters-unscathed-so-far/59fb725730fb0468e7654095/?utm_term=.7a124f4781ab

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/education/wp/2017/11/02/teachers-spend-nearly-1000-a-year-on-supplies-under-the-gop-tax-bill-they-will-no-longer-get-a-tax-deduction/?utm_term=.dc599785707e

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-gops-bill-is-a-sensible-framework–but-still-a-deficit-exploding-tax-cut-for-the-rich-and-corporations/2017/11/02/28b3688c-bffe-11e7-959c-fe2b598d8c00_story.html?utm_term=.62b5bdd7bb78

https://www.axios.com/house-gop-keeps-tax-loophole-for-hedge-fund-managers-2505477999.html

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/11/02/who-pays-more-trump-gop-tax-plan-244472

http://money.cnn.com/2017/11/02/pf/college/house-tax-bill-student-loan-interest-deduction/index.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/house-gops-evolving-tax-bill-leaves-retirement-plan-intact/2017/11/01/755e7906-bf77-11e7-9294-705f80164f6e_story.html?utm_term=.acb66b4fc0c4

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/11/the-house-republican-tax-cut-is-a-failure-on-its-own-terms.html

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/11/the-republican-tax-plan-is-political-suicide.html