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Fight The GOP Tax Bill, November 22 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.

Bad News: The House of Representatives passed its version of the bill on Thursday, November 16. Read about it here:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/house-poised-to-pass-its-tax-bill-as-senate-plan-suffers-setbacks/2017/11/16/62d92fa4-cad7-11e7-8321-481fd63f174d_story.html?utm_term=.54b6d6df5076

Good News: The current plan is for the Senate to vote on its version after Thanksgiving. This is good news because that gives us more time to fight.

The GOP feels terrible urgency to push through this tax bill for many reasons.

Pressure from donors is one (see link to a relevant story below).

The December 12 Senate special election in Alabama is another. With Republican candidate Roy Moore embattled and compromised, and Democratic candidate Doug Jones on the rise, the odds of the seat flipping blue and reducing the Republican Senate advantage to 51-49 is real.

But here is more good news for those who oppose this highly unpopular bill. The GOP is trying to get it done via reconciliation, which means they can afford to lose only three of their senators (all Democrats and both Independents are opposed–if they represent you and you haven’t yet called to thank them, please do).

Republican Senators Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Susan Collins of Maine have voiced opposition to the bill. (Interesting point to remember–Collins was the one who sought and won the tax deduction for teachers who buy school supplies for their classrooms, and she succeeded in having the deduction made permanent just last year.)

Other potential ‘no’s who have been silent on the issue (at least as of November 18) are Senators Bob Corker of Tennessee, John McCain of Arizona, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

As the days pass, more jaw-droppingly bad aspects of this bill come to light. It’s almost as if Republican MoCs are trying to write a parody of the worst, most unpopular bill they could possibly propose, with tax breaks for private jets, golf courses, and hedge fund managers while taking them away from teachers, graduate students, the sick, the elderly, and the disabled. Except they’re really trying to pass the damn thing.

The Congressional Budget Office released stats that show if passed, the tax bill would force an immediate $25 billion cut to Medicare.

Per a Paul Krugman tweet from Nov 14:

This is awesome: passing the R tax cut would REQUIRE an immediate $25 billion cut in Medicare, plus $111 billion in other cuts (which isn’t legally possible). I.e., the whole exercise is illegal under Congress’ own rules

And Republican senators are also considering repealing the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate within the tax bill, because why not try that again?

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.

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.

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 new posts and asking you to focus solidly on opposing this every day until it is dead.

Call, call, call. Yell, yell, yell. Get your friends and family to do it too. We have to let our MoCs know this is wrong and we will not stand for it. 

And again, remember this when your incumbent MoCs are up for re-election. Having to dial for our lives every two or three months is Not On. Thank the Dems who have been doing their damnedest to hold together and raise the alarm. Punish the Republicans who are placing their mega-ultra-wealthy donors above their constituents.

 

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 first four people on Twitter during the Trumpcare fight, do so, and add three more tax experts as well:

@benwikler

@celeste_p

@aslavitt

@topherspiro

@sethhanlon

@michaelslinden

@lilybatch

Slavitt and Spiro 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

 

Another note related to Not One Penny: Do you live in New York State? The folks at Not One Penny are holding anti-tax bill rallies on November 20 in Oswego and Auburn, N.Y., 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

 

And here is a bundle of links to relevant stories:

 

The GOP tax bill retains a deduction for golf course owners:

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

 

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

 

The GOP has an extra-strong motivation to pass something, anything, in an attempt to please their donors:

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

 

Senator John McCain shows his skepticism by calling for normal order, which hasn’t been happening with this tax bill:

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

 

White House adviser Gary Cohn likens the earned benefits of Medicare and Social Security to “welfare,” which it is not:

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

 

Still more 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