The Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) vehemently opposes the tax reform legislation headed for final passage this week in the House and Senate. Based on the false trickle-down theory, the Republicans’ bill would slash tax burdens on the wealthiest individuals and corporations, while delivering only limited relief, and in some cases tax increases, to everyone else. This right-wing plan is another attempt to “starve the beast,” exploding the debt and then demanding cuts in social spending in the name of fiscal restraint. The bill would cost the government $1.5 trillion in the next decade, and we can already see the second part of the Republicans’ deceptive two-step. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) plans to advance so-called entitlement reform in the next session of Congress, and IT no doubt will invoke the swelling deficit and national debt as a justification. The bill will also encourage state and local governments to slash spending on health, welfare and education, by capping the deductions taxpayers can claim on their federal tax returns for state and local taxes. In addition to “starving the beast,” the tax plan has many other negative consequences. It would destabilize the individual insurance markets set up by Obamacare by repealing the health insurance mandate, potentially pushing 13 million people into the ranks of the uninsured. It would lower the value of the earned-income tax credit, a life-line to so many low-income Americans. It might also trigger automatic spending cuts that could immediately harm the Medicare programs and put seniors in danger.
JDCA urges lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to vote against this bill, and go back to the drawing board. Americans deserve a fair, financially sustainable and easy-to-understand tax code.