With their "Tax Plan," the Republican-controlled Senate are about to show the American people just how far they are willing to go to obey their wealthy donors. After traveling throughout the Second District, I’ve noticed that many Arkansans have a growing sense of concern with the direction their country is heading.
Politicians will try to capitalize on this feeling of unease by blaming “the government.” These politicians want you to elect them so they can “fix Washington." They will insinuate that “too much government” prevents people from getting ahead.
But what happens when we “get the government out of our lives,” is that the government begins to represent different groups that are happy to have the government in their lives and working exclusively for them. These are the moneyed interests and the billionaire donor class.
With this in mind, it is important that Arkansans be aware of the looming possibility of a major shift in our tax code after the the so-called “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” was passed by the House on November 16 with Representative French Hill’s support.
Large and powerful economic interests with lobbyists and billionaire campaign donors have used their influence on Republicans in the Congress—whom they helped elect—to collaborate on a rewrite of the country’s tax code.
This new tax policy lavishes massive cuts on corporations and the wealthiest Americans. Although this is being touted as a tax plan that is fair for all Americans and one that will “create jobs,” it is anything but fair and is emblematic of the wrong direction in which these interests, and the politicians that collaborate with them, have taken our country.
Make no mistake, this is disastrous for the people of the Second District.
We have had steady tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy since the 1960s that have rapidly accelerated over the last 35 years.
But we have not seen a natural increase in wages. Instead of bringing about widespread opportunity and upward mobility for the majority of Arkansans, today we are seeing working mothers and fathers struggling to maintain the same standard of living for their families that their parents enjoyed a generation ago.
This tax plan will repeal the estate tax, which coincidentally will benefit people like President Trump, most members of Congress, and the political donor class who have estates worth over 11 million dollars. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has cited the very existence of this estate tax as “fundamentally unfair”.
But I have a different idea of what is “fundamentally unfair.”
Representative Hill and Congress should be willing to explain to families of critically ill children why it’s fair they pay staggering medical bills just so he and his colleagues can cut Medicaid and fund massive tax give-aways to corporations already enjoying record profits.
Representative Hill and Congress should be willing to explain to our students why it’s fair that they can no longer pursue their graduate education so that he and his colleagues can repeal of the estate tax for millionaires.
Representative Hill and Congress should be willing to explain to teachers and their students that why its fair to eliminate tax deductions for teacher-bought school supplies so that he and his colleagues can repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax which would save billionaires like President Trump untold sums of money.
To me this all sounds “fundamentally unfair.”
42 top economists from the University of Chicago all agreed this tax bill would not help the economy and would add to the national debt. In fact, it has been estimated that this tax bill would add one and a half trillion dollars to the budget deficit over the next ten years.
Quite frankly, the bill is nothing more than another tax give-away to the top 1% in this country.
This is nothing but a re-hashing of the failed trickle-down economics of the past, which will do nothing but perpetuate the growing and widening inequalities of wealth and taxation in our country.
Simply giving more money to corporate CEOs will not create more jobs. What creates jobs is increased demand for a business’s goods or services.
They are things that we could do, such as lowering the payroll tax or increasing the childcare deduction for middle class families, or increasing the minimum wage.
These things would increase the take-home pay of those struggling families in our neighborhoods.
Every dime returned to them would go right back into the economy, putting food on the table, replacing the worn and dangerous tires on the car, or purchasing a new pair of shoes for their kids.
This would stimulate consumer demand which is exactly what creates jobs and leads to a healthy economy.
A burdensome, unjust, and corporate-centric tax policy of historic proportions such as this can only happen when a society has lost its means of democratic representation.
It is time that we join together to fight against the essential economic injustice embodied by this tax bill. It is time to elect a representative to the Second District who has a record of fighting the special interest control of our elections, as I have done on the state level in Arkansas. I will always prioritize the needs of the working families of the Second District.
I won’t take a dime of special interest money and I will never stop fighting to protect and improve your economic security and promote human dignity.
It’s time to put the people back in charge of the Second District.