Posted by Tim Hains
Real Clear Politics, November 28, 2017 —
Senator Bernie Sanders calls Republicans hypocrites for trying to pass a tax bill that would inflate the budget deficit after claiming to be the party of fiscal responsibility for years.
BERNIE SANDERS: It is not surprising that my Republican colleagues would be pushing legislation that would give tax breaks to the very rich, but I really do have a hard time understanding how they are prepared to vote for legislation that would increase the deficit by some $1.4 trillion.
The overwhelming majority of the American people do not want to see tax breaks for billionaires, and raising taxes for the middle class, and laying the groundwork for cuts to Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare.
I would hope very much that my Republican colleagues, who for so long talked about the dangers of the deficit, would join us in voting no to this incredibly horrific and unfair piece of legislation.
This is not tax reform. It’s an effort to radically transform American society and it must be defeated.
For the past 40 years, the financial and political elite of this country have rigged the tax code to redistribute wealth and income to some of the richest and most powerful people in this country. The result: we are moving rapidly toward an oligarchic form of society in which the top 1 percent is doing phenomenally well, the middle class continues to decline and 40 million Americans are living in poverty.
And it will probably not surprise you to learn that just as our tax code benefits the wealthiest people in this country, it also benefits some of the largest and most profitable corporations in the world with a myriad of tax breaks, deductions, credits and other loopholes. As a result, one out of five large profitable corporations today pays nothing in federal taxes.
The current Republican “tax cut” bill, paid for by the Koch brothers and other billionaire campaign contributors, continues the push to make the rich richer at the expense of everyone else. It would raise taxes on middle class families making $75,000 a year or less and would throw 13 million Americans off of health insurance. And it would do all of these things to provide permanent tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans and profitable corporations that ship American jobs to China while moving their American profits to the Cayman Islands.
But let’s be clear. This legislation goes well beyond taxes. Its ultimate goal is to radically transform American society and the role that government plays in the lives of the working families of our country. This legislation will increase the deficit by at least $1.5 trillion over ten years. Mark my words. If passed, the Republicans will then rediscover the “deficit crisis,” and push aggressively for massive cuts in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education – higher education in particular – nutrition, affordable housing and more. They will seek to undo every major piece of legislation passed in the last 80 years designed to help working families, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor.
This is the Republican plan. Huge tax breaks for the rich and powerful. Massive cuts to life and death programs for the middle class and working families of our country.
This is not moral. This is not what the American people want. This is not what our country and our pledge for “liberty and justice for all” is supposed to be about.
That is why I am going on the road this week to talk directly to working people in Kentucky, Ohio, and Pennsylvania about this disastrous piece of legislation. If we stand together – black, white, Latino, Asian American, Native American, male and female, young and old, gay and straight – we can defeat this horrific bill. But I need you to make your voice heard as well. We need to stand together.
Please sign my petition calling on Congress to REJECT the Republican “tax cut” plan that would take from the working families in this country to give a massive tax break to people and corporations who already are doing extremely well. At a time of grotesque levels of income and wealth inequality, we must not make a bad situation even worse.
Today in America, more than 40 million Americans, including 20 percent of all children, live in poverty. Many in extreme poverty. Almost 28 million Americans have no health insurance. Millions of bright kids can’t afford to go to college without facing a lifetime of debt. Seniors and disabled veterans are struggling to stay alive on inadequate Social Security checks.
Despite all of that pain, the greed of the billionaire class in this country knows no limits. No. We will not allow them to take away from those in need in order to give a trillion dollars in tax breaks to the very rich.
Here’s a radical idea for my colleagues in the Republican Party: instead of just listening to the rich and powerful few in this country, maybe just maybe Congress should listen to the majority of the American people who want a fair tax system.
Maybe just maybe corporate tax reform should start by preventing profitable companies from sheltering profits in tax haven countries like the Cayman Islands.
Here is something you may not know:
A 2008 Government Accountability Office report found that 83 of the Fortune 100 companies use at least one offshore tax scheme to lower their taxes. A 2016 study found that one of every five large, profitable corporations paid no federal income taxes at all in 2012.
The practice of stashing profits in places like the Cayman Islands has become so absurd that one single, five-story office building there is now the official legal “home” to more than 18,000 corporations! Our tax code has essentially legalized tax dodging for large corporations.
We must stop this bill. We must stop the Republicans from moving this country into an oligarchy.
And that starts with all of us standing up, fighting back and making our voices heard. Three weeks ago progressives from coast to coast ran for office at the local and state level – and they won. We have to continue that progress and build on that momentum.
Please sign my petition calling on Congress to REJECT the Republican “tax cut” plan that would take from working families in this country all to give a massive tax break to people and corporations who already have it all.
Brothers and sisters. We must do exactly the opposite of what Trump is attempting to do. He wants to divide us up by the color of our skin, our gender, our religion, our sexual orientation or our country of origin. He wants us fighting with each other while Wall Street and the billionaire class laugh all the way to the bank.
Our job is to bring our people together around an agenda that creates an economy and government that works for all, not just the 1 percent. Defeating this terrible piece of legislation will be an important step forward.
This bill is a moral abomination. I hope you’ll add your name if you agree.