Labor leaders denounce GOP tax bill

Stephon Johnson | 12/21/2017, midnight
Republicans in the House and the U.S. Senate passed sweeping, $1.5 billion tax legislation, the most significant tax reform in ...
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Republicans in the House and the U.S. Senate passed sweeping, $1.5 billion tax legislation, the most significant tax reform in 30 years.

Labor leaders were quick to criticize the bill.

“This isn’t tax reform; it is simply the largest transfer of wealth to those at the top in generations—at the expense of working and middle-class Americans,” said American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten in a statement. “President Trump may have campaigned as a populist, but with his support Congress rammed through a tax plan in which 83 percent of the benefits will go to the top 1 percent by 2027, and where Americans earning less than $75,000 a year will be paying more for this tax cut to the wealthy. That is why most Americans oppose it.”

The bill helps conservatives meet long-awaited aspirations to reduce the corporate tax rate, and it lowers individual tax rates and doubles the standard deduction. The legislation also exempts many large inheritances from the estate tax and kills the Obamacare mandate that penalized Americans for not purchasing health insurance. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the tax bill would kick 13 million Americans off health insurance.

32BJ SEIU President Hector Figueroa stated that the GOP tax bill robs Americans blind.

“This hugely unpopular Republican tax plan is a giant Christmas present to the super-wealthy and corporations, while most taxpayers get delayed misery in the form of deep cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and education in the near future,” said Figueroa. “This disastrous plan is an insult to the intelligence of the American people and proof that Republicans in Congress are there to shovel billions to the super-rich. Republicans in Congress believe that if they offer us a nickel now, we won't notice when they rob our homes next week.”

According to independent analysis by the Tax Policy Center, 83 percent of households in the 0.1 percent economic class would get an average tax breaks of $193,380 in 2018. For the middle 20 percent: $930.

One local congressman let his constituents know that he voted no on the bill and laid out how he found the legislation “deficit-exploding” and allows corporations to ship jobs overseas with no penalty.

“The final assessment from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center shows the GOP tax scam will raise taxes on a staggering 86 million middle-class households, giving 83 percent of its tax cuts to the wealthiest 1 percent,” stated Adriano Espaillat. “This disastrous tax plan hurts middle-class families and the future of our economy. My constituents want and deserve real, bipartisan tax reform that puts them first by creating better jobs, better wages and securing a stronger future. Today’s vote to advance the Republican tax bill is not the solution.”