Blumenauer on GOP tax bill slashing taxes for corporations, raising them on working families

November 3, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C. -- Today, Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) released the following statement after Republican leaders unveiled their new tax plan. Blumenauer sits on the Ways & Means Committee, the chief tax-writing committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.

"The Republican tax proposal is not just a lost opportunity for tax reform, it represents a genuine threat to American economy and to tens of millions of American families.

"It’s appropriate that they waited until after Halloween because this is a trick on Americans. It does not do anything for families who are really struggling. It actually raises taxes on almost 13 million middle-class families making less than $100,000. Other middle income people who think they’re going to get a few dollars a day tax relief will see those benefits disappear in five years. At the same time, because of an accounting formula change, more American families are going to receive a tax increase by being pulled up into higher tax brackets than under existing law.

"Most perniciously, this bill dedicates more than 80 percent of the benefit to the wealthy and to corporations. This bill is the opposite of the famous tax reform of 1986 in almost every respect. That proposal was bipartisan and the result of a very open, comprehensive process where changes were widely understood and debated. Taxes were raised on business and reduced on individuals, although the tax increases were uniform and rational.

"In contrast, this Republican proposal increases the burden on individuals in order to reduce taxes on the very wealthy and corporations. It has been rushed, hidden, and confused. It even reverses one of the most important reforms of the Reagan era tax bill preventing “bracket creep.” This is where individuals are pulled into higher tax brackets because of inflation. The change in calculating cost-of-living means that over the years more and more families are going to pay higher taxes than they would under the current system simply because of inflation. The bottom line is that this is a partisan give away to the wealthy and corporations and unfair to most Americans.

"Of course, all of this is predicated on the Republican plan successfully holding the deficit explosion to just $1.5 trillion by essentially enacting the same draconian cuts to Medicare and Medicaid that the American public so fiercely resisted in their healthcare proposals. Republicans will create an automatic system of forced budget cuts for the next ten years that the American public has already signaled they oppose.

"The more Oregonians--indeed the more most Americans--look at this giveaway to big corporations and the wealthy, support will continue to evaporate. This proposal may pass the House, but it will never be enacted into law. The question is how much damage we can prevent and how much real reform we can salvage. The answer depends upon how deeply Americans are involved and how effectively they are being heard."