Weekly Democratic Address
April 20, 2018
As “Tax Day” is now behind us, I’m reminded of the Albert Einstein quote, “the hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.”
Americans dread this time of year because of the complications and headaches the tax code causes all of us. I wish I could tell you that filing would be easier moving forward. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Last year, Republicans had a once-in-a-generation opportunity to work with Democrats to simplify our tax code and create a system that provides opportunities for America’s middle class.
Instead, Republicans wrote a law that gives 83 percent of the tax savings to the top 1 percent. To put that another way, 4 out of every 5 dollars will go to the very top earners. Meanwhile, 86 million American families will see their tax bills increase.
That’s a great deal for the well-off and the well-connected and a bad deal for American families.
It’s no surprise the middle-class is left with a crummy deal – bad process always leads to bad policy. Republicans rushed through their tax bill without the necessary review for a bill of this significance.
This is a bill that affects 100 percent of our economy – it touches every business and every individual, yet there was not a single hearing nor a single witness. Remember, everyone lives in economy.
Regardless of process, you cannot upend the revenue system of the country overnight without problems. It’s already clear, there are many problems.
One of the problems that Republicans hope that Americans will overlook is the law’s devastating impact on your health care. In search of revenue to pay for corporate cuts, the GOP upended the health care system, causing 13 million Americans to lose their coverage.
For others, health insurance premiums will spike by at least 10 percent, which translates to about $2,000 of extra costs per year for a family of four.
These new health expenses will dwarf any tax cuts promised to you by the Republicans. The majority of Americans are not seeing their paychecks grow. Higher health insurance costs – coupled with rising prices for prescription drugs and gas – are straining family finances.
Finally, the Republican tax plan’s fiscal irresponsibility is stunning.
The law adds at least $2.3 trillion to the nation’s debt to finance corporate tax cuts. Remember, this was borrowed money for a tax cut for the people at the very top.
And as we saw in 2001 and 2003, tax cuts don’t pay for themselves, you pay for them. When the bill comes due, Republicans will intend to cut funding for programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
The GOP tax scam is a raw deal for working families, for seniors, for all Americans. Democrats believe in A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, a Better Future for everyone.
A Better Deal means that instead of investing in millionaires and billionaires, we will invest in the American worker. We know a strong America comes from a strong middle class. That would be a better way to do tax reform.
The American people deserve a tax code founded on fairness. Our tax system should reward hardworking, middle-class families, small businesses, and innovators.
Democrats’ Better Deal means a plan to improve health insurance affordability and put more money in families’ wallets.
We want to provide young people with a high-quality education and ensure that workers have the career training they need to succeed.
It’s also important that all Americans are financially secure, especially retirees.
We know that when people aren’t worried about how they’re going to afford their next meal, student loan payments, or medical emergencies, they can focus on their families and their jobs and contribute more fully to our nation.
Republicans are leaving the middle class behind and cutting the very programs that support people’s well-being.
Democrats are fighting for a future in which all Americans, not just those at the top, have an honest shot at a good life.