Weekly Democratic Address
December 23, 2017
Hello, I’m U.S. Senator Bob Casey from Pennsylvania. As you know, the Senate passed the Republican tax bill this week. And this tax scheme was a giveaway to the super rich and big corporations.
Instead of using a once-in-a-30-year opportunity to help rebuild the middle class by raising wages and creating good-paying jobs, the Republican bill gives over $36 billion to the top 1% in 2019. Republicans in Congress should work with Democrats to pass legislation so American workers see higher incomes and families see their daily expenses go down. Instead of rebuilding the middle class, Republicans in Congress are creating barriers to opportunity. The Republican tax bill was jammed through Congress, without a single hearing on the bill, written in secret by a few Republican politicians – with no effort to work in a bipartisan way.
Under this tax scheme, over 57 million households making under $100,000 a year would see a tax increase or a tax cut of less than $9 a month in 2019. Meanwhile, the top 1% gets an average tax cut of $51,140 – that’s $4,261 a month in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Why does the top 1% need an extra 4,200 bucks a month?
The Republican tax scheme increases taxes on millions of middle-class families, eliminates deductions that are vital for working Americans, and creates an incentive to offshore jobs.
And it’s more than that. This scheme also contains provisions that decimate our health care system. The party that tried to cram a big tax cut for the wealthiest in a health care bill earlier this year has now succeeded in cutting health care in a tax bill. That’s obscene.
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the Republican tax bill will result in 13 million Americans without health insurance and hike premiums an additional 10% per year. Yes, that’s right – 13 million lose health care, premiums go up 10% every year. Instead of working with Democrats to bring down the cost of health care, this Republican bill does exactly the opposite.
Throughout this process, Senate Democrats offered a Better Deal for the middle class. Democrats offered amendments that would exchange giveaways to the super rich and big corporations for investment in our roads and bridges, our workers, higher wages, our kids, and our families.
I held town halls all across Pennsylvania this year, and no one, no one asked me to vote for a bill that would give the top 1% an extra 50,000 bucks a year. They want real tax reform – tax reform that makes our tax system fairer, and encourages a type of investment to keep our country competitive today and into the future. Trickle-down doesn’t work; it only leads to stagnant wages.
So Republicans have passed their $1.5 trillion tax scheme that will blow a huge hole in the deficit, and they’ve told us exactly what they’re going after next – they’re going after Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. That’s right, after giving away the store to the super rich and big corporations, Republicans in Congress want to cut earned benefits that help the middle class. Senate Democrats will fight like hell to protect those programs.
Republicans just enacted a tax bill that gives 83% of the benefits to the top 1% by the year 2027. It is now very clear the Republican Party in Washington fights for giveaways to the top 1% while Democrats put middle-class families first. Our families deserve better, which is why Senate Democrats are pushing for measures that build from the ground up, that funds infrastructure, makes health care more affordable, and brings down the cost of living for families.
I hope my Republican colleagues will join us.
From my family to yours, best wishes for this holiday season and Happy New Year.