HOW THE REPUBLICAN TAX PLAN HURTS MILLIONS OF AMERICANS
HON. JAMIE RASKIN
in the house of representatives
Thursday, December 21, 2017
Mr. RASKIN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong opposition to the
proposal put forward by my Republican colleagues that is misleadingly
titled the ``Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.'' I voted against the GOP Tax Scam
when it was brought up in the House of Representatives a few weeks ago,
and I did again this week when Republicans bypassed ``regular order''
to pass a partisan, highway robbery and power grab bill that will give
massive tax cuts to corporations experiencing record profits and
explode our national debt, while pulling the rug out from beneath the
American Working Class and Middle Class.
As the elected representatives of the American people, Congress
should be passing legislation that helps every American, not serving as
a rubber-stamp for tax cuts advanced by a President who bankrupted four
companies, his high-flying billionaire cabinet, and his wealthy
corporate donors demanding a big Christmas bonus for the one-percent.
Yet that is precisely what the Republicans in Congress have done.
Let's be clear: this bill will not ``stimulate the economy'' or
``create more jobs''--in fact, more than 30 distinguished economists
have invalidated these claims. This bill will not help middle-class
Americans today and it will not help future generations of Americans
tomorrow--in fact, these claims have also been proved false by the
analysis of nonpartisan tax experts and government entities. Maryland's
middle class, seniors, students, working families, and everyone else
who is not a gigantic corporation, one of the richest of the rich in
this country, or anyone without their own lobbyist will be made worse-
off under this proposal. Our children and grandchildren will be footing
the bill for this irresponsible and reckless corporate giveaway for
decades to come.
Both the House and Senate tax bills are bad deals for my
constituents, Marylanders, and ninety-nine-percent of Americans. There
were virtually no hearings and no Democratic input in the process,
while special interest lobbyists inserted absurd provisions (such as
eliminating the deductions for state and local taxes and medical
expenses, and opening-up oil drilling in Alaska).
A recent analysis from the Joint Committee on Taxation found that
many Americans, including many of my constituents, will receive a
substantial tax hike under the Republican plan. Also, according to both
the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation and the Congressional
Budget Office, by 2027, those earning $40,000 to $50,000 would pay a
combined $5.3 billion more in taxes, while the group earning $1 million
or more would get a $5.8 billion tax cut. Apparently the Republican
version of the new American Dream is to raise taxes on the Middle Class
while showering millionaires with tax breaks.
Congressional Republicans are also dismissing concerns over the debt,
reversing years of deficit-hawk rhetoric so fast they are walking
around with neck braces from the ideological whiplash. Suddenly the GOP
is calling trillions of dollars of debt ``a drop in the bucket''--which
will of course, be true, only until Republicans decide that we need
deep painful cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security to pay for
the magnificent tax cuts they have already bestowed upon the nation's
If this legislation is such a boon for America's small businesses,
why are the small businesses in my state so upset about the plan?
Maryland's small businesses may be in favor of long-overdue tax reform,
but this is not it. They wanted public hearings, where provisions like
pass-through businesses could have been openly discussed and debated.
Instead, we're looking at a bill which pretends to provide for small
business but most pass-through income goes to the top one-percent of
American earners. This is hardly helping America's Middle Class as the
Republican leadership claims, but it certainly helps the GOP's gilded
My constituents are not fools and they are not suckers. They are not
holding buckets waiting for the Koch Brothers' private jet maintenance
exemptions to magically ``trickle down'' and benefit them. No credible
research has demonstrated that corporate tax breaks will create
millions of new American jobs. In fact, documented history shows that
just the opposite occurs. Foreign corporations are probably cheering
along the GOP Tax Scam, knowing that America is only days away from
creating millions of new jobs overseas. Trickle-down economics is a
fraud. The only kind of economics that works for Americans is bubble-up
economics where we invest in infrastructure, health care and
education--we invest in the Middle Class and prosperity bubbles up
Furthermore, I often hear from my overseas constituents, who have
their own profound concerns about our tax system. As someone who has
lived abroad, I appreciate their concerns. Americans abroad are being
treated unfairly--taxed first by their local tax authority, and again
by the United States. No other countries tax their citizens abroad,
with the exceptions of North Korea and Eritrea. Yet Congressional
Republicans have chosen to ignore the nine million voices of red, white
and blue American citizens seeking help and relief. The GOP is
callously ignoring our citizens overseas, refusing to help millions of
constituents abroad who desperately want and deserve expat tax reform.
Congress should act immediately, so that U.S. citizens living abroad
are not forced to choose between two terrible outcomes: draining their
life savings to pay their taxes or renouncing their citizenship to
escape this outrageous double taxation. There has been some important
progress in this regard though. I'm pleased that my colleague from
North Carolina, Representative George Holding, readily acknowledged the
problem of expat taxation during the House Floor debate on H.R. 1, but
frankly, it is shocking that the House Ways and Means Committee failed
entirely to provide any tax reform relief whatsoever to millions of
Americans living abroad.
My constituents did not send me to Congress to vote for a bill which
adds more than $1 trillion to our national debt; sends American jobs
overseas; eliminates tax assistance provisions for the sick, seniors,
college students, teachers, families with special needs children,
working families, and middle-class families; and puts more into the
pockets of people like President Trump.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a hoax. Republicans boast that this bill
provides ``tax cuts for everybody,'' but millions of Americans will see
their taxes increased under this proposal. Don't just take my word for
it, check out the latest analysis from the official revenue referee of
Congress, the Joint Committee on Taxation.
In closing, Mr. Speaker, this tax bill is a bad deal for Maryland,
and indeed, nearly every American whose last name isn't Trump or Koch
or Mercer or Adelson. I am proud to have taken a stand for Marylanders
and America's Middle Class by voting against the GOP Tax Scam.