Weekly Democratic Address
March 9, 2018
Hi, I’m Congressman Bill Pascrell of Paterson, New Jersey. I grew up in a working-class, immigrant community, a place where people made things with their hands for a living.
I still live in Paterson. I’m proud of my city. And the working people of my community are always at the top of my mind here in Congress.
With their mean-spirited policies, congressional Republicans have declared war on Paterson and cities across America like it. The GOP tax scam they just jammed into law is Exhibit A of their malfeasance.
Republicans have gone into overdrive, claiming that their disastrous new tax law will be a boon for middle-class Americans. That’s a lie.
Republicans didn’t write their bill for the middle class. The middle class was the furthest thing from their minds. They wrote their tax bill for their donor class. Then they shoved it down our throats in hopes that no one would read the fine print.
Let’s talk about the fine print.
The Republican tax scam cost more than $2 trillion. That’s trillion with a ‘T.’ Where will that money go? I’m going to tell you.
About $1.6 trillion of that money will go straight toward rewarding corporations and the top 1%. Can you think of a group less in need of tax relief?
I’m all for growing wealth. But I’m not for gaming the system in the name of greed.
What are these big corporations doing with their payouts from the Republicans? I’m going to tell you, again.
They’re putting it right in their pockets. They’re giving themselves sweet bonuses. And they’re lavishing buybacks on their shareholders.
One estimate found that the Republican tax scam will give those who make more than $1 million an annual payout of $70,000. That’s more than the entire yearly income of families in the middle class in this country.
If you eat at a nice restaurant, you have to pick up the tab. So who’s going to pay for those millionaires’ bonuses? You are!
For $2 trillion, we could do so much. We could rebuild our decaying airports. We could fix our crumbling bridges and roads.
Our outdated roads are of enormous interest to me.
Right now, it can take 45 minutes to go five miles from Secaucus, New Jersey in my district, across the river to Manhattan. We’ve been fighting to build a new rail tunnel to ease the traffic nightmare. But Republicans are now saying there’s no money for it and that my constituents should go pound sand.
The money lost will also hit you right square in the wallet. The Republican tax scam took away many deductions and credits American families enjoy. In my home state of New Jersey, middle-class taxpayers will see a tax increase because of this change. In total, 86 million American households will see a net tax increase.
That’s not acceptable.
The elimination of these deductions will also squeeze communities from coast to coast to make savage cuts to basic services. I’m talking about paying teachers and firefighters, and promoting public safety, and paving roads.
We all spent the last week watching the courageous teachers’ strike in West Virginia. In other states, some schools have cut their classes, slashed teacher compensation to the bone. With the Republican tax scam, we can now expect similar degradations.
These terrible results are the fruit of decades of Republican policy that favors plutocrats over the middle class. The Republicans are cannibalizing America to feed their corporate cronies.
What would possess Republicans to wreak all of this havoc? Well, several of my colleagues have openly admitted it: their donors demanded it.
I’m talking about men like Charles and David Koch. Koch Industries will save more than $1 billion in income taxes each year. The Koch brothers rank among the ten richest people in the world. Koch Industries is the second largest corporation in America. This is who Republicans wrote their tax scam for. Think about that.
So let’s take it all together.
The Republicans’ only major legislation passed under this administration is a corruption of our democracy done at the behest of their donors.
The Republican tax scam is a slap in the face to our country’s urgent needs and the middle class.
There’s no putting lipstick on this pig.
The Republicans are giving a raw deal to hard working families in New Jersey and across America. You deserve a better one – A Better Deal: with Better Jobs, Better Wages and a Better Future for everyone.