LETTER SIGN-ON DEADLINE: TUESDAY, JULY 31, COB
August 31, 2018
OPPOSE “ROUND 2” OF TRUMP-GOP TAX CUTS – STOP ANOTHER MASSIVE GIVEAWAY TO THE WEALTHY
Dear Member of Congress:
We urge you to reject any so-called “Round 2” of tax cuts from President Trump and Republicans in Congress like those enacted last year, which once again would primarily benefit wealthy Americans and could end up costing close to $800 billion over the next decade and much more over the long-term. The richest Americans do not need another massive tax cut; they and America’s corporations need to start paying their fair share, so we have the resources needed to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and to invest in education, infrastructure and many more services working families and communities need to thrive.
The original Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) bestows most of its benefits on the wealthy and large corporations. Its $1.9 trillion cost, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), will vastly enlarge the federal debt and be used as an excuse for conservatives to enact deep cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education and other vital public services that tens of millions of people rely on—mostly seniors, children, women, and people with disabilities. Extending or expanding the law’s existing provisions will likewise primarily enrich the already wealthy while further threatening essential services and investments.
The most frequently mentioned component of a Round 2 is the permanent extension of individual tax breaks currently scheduled to expire at the end of 2025. Even though they do not include TCJA’s tax cuts for corporations, which were made permanent in the law, they are still heavily slanted toward the rich. That is because they include major tax breaks that mostly or exclusively benefit high-income taxpayers: the reduction in the top individual income tax rate that exclusively affects the tiny percentage of people with annual income above $500,000 ($600,000 for couples), the special new deduction for individuals owning so-called “pass-through” business entities, the tax cuts for multi-million-dollar estates (which doubled the amount of a couples’ assets exempt from the estate tax from $11 million to $22 million), and the increase in the amount of income exempt from the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).
The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) has determined that 43% of the tax benefits of extending these expiring TCJA provisions would go to the wealthiest 5% (incomes above $290,000). The bottom 60% (incomes below $81,000) would get only 19% of the tax benefits. Therefore, the extension of TCJA’s individual provisions is not a middle-class-focused tax cut but rather another benefit for the wealthy.
In particular, the pass-through deduction, which loses $265 billion and reduces individuals’ taxes on their business income, has been misleadingly sold as a “small business” tax cut, but most of the benefits flow to wealthy business owners (such as President Trump) and wealthy investors. In 2024, 61% of the benefits will go to the wealthiest 1% of pass-through business owners, while just 4% will go to the bottom two-thirds, including the solo practitioners and proprietors of Main Street shops that truly personify “small business,” according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The pass-through deduction is already being used by people who can afford highly-paid tax lawyers and accountants, while its byzantine rules increase the complexity faced by actual small businesses’ tax compliance. Extension of this special pass-through deduction would perpetuate these skewed benefits and sources of unfairness.
In addition to the $1.9 trillion cost of the TCJA, CBO estimates extending the expiring individual tax provisions (including those affecting pass-through businesses) would cost an additional $650 billion over the next decade, with the costs exploding over time. If one of the few expiring business-tax provisions—full expensing—is also made permanent (as has been suggested by conservatives) the added ten-year cost would grow by another $122 billion.
To reduce the large increase in debt caused by the tax cuts, President Trump has proposed slashing $1.7 trillion from Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, housing assistance, assistance for people with disabilities, environmental protection, tuition aid and dozens of other important services. Round 2 tax cuts would give conservatives an excuse for still deeper cuts.
America cannot afford the Trump-GOP tax cuts benefitting the rich and corporations, and we sure cannot afford a Round 2 that puts the interests of the wealthy over everyone else while maintaining a lower tax rate on income earned from wealth compared to wages and salaries. We urge you to oppose an extension of TCJA tax cuts and instead support legislation to ensure that the wealthy and large profitable corporations pay their fair share so that we have the revenue needed to invest in our families and communities to strengthen public education, fix infrastructure, make healthcare more affordable, assist families in need of affordable childcare, housing, nutrition and other basics, and provide a secure retirement with dignity.
(list in formation)
ARIZONAProgressNow ArizonaWest Valley Neighborhoods Coalition
CALIFORNIACourage CampaignSoCal Health Care CoalitionWorking Partnerships USA
COLORADOColorado United for FamiliesThe Interfaith Alliance of Colorado
CONNECTICUTConnecticut Citizen Action Group
DELAWAREDelaware Ecumenical Council on Children and Families
FLORIDAFarmworker Association of FloridaFloridians for a Fair Shake
ILLINOISChicago Area Fair Housing AllianceGrassroots CollaborativeHANA CenterHousing Action IllinoisHousing Choice PartnersIndivisible IllinoisNorth Side Action & Resistance (Indivisible)United Working Families
IOWAKeep Iowa Healthy
MAINEMaine People's AllianceMainers Against Health Care Cuts
MARYLANDCommunities UnitedSPACEs In Action
MASSACHUSETTSGray PanthersRESULTS Greater Boston
MICHIGANGood jobs NowGray Panthers of MichiganMichigan Families for Economic ProsperityMichigan League for Public PolicyMichigan Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Network
NEBRASKASisters of Mercy West Midwest Justice Team
NEVADAMainers Against Health Care Cuts
NEW JERSEYNew Jersey for a Better FutureNJ State Industrial Union Council
NEW MEXICOFlint RisingOLÉ (Organizers in the Land of Enchantment)
NEW YORK32BJ SEIUCitizen Action of New YorkCenter for Independence of the Disabled, NYSisters of St. Dominic of Blauvelt, New YorkSisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, New Windsor, NY Speak Out CNYStrong Economy For All Coalition
NORTH CAROLINACenter for New RevenueNorth Carolinians for a Fair EconomyAction NC
OHIOOhio Alliance for Retired Americans Educational FundOhioans for Economic OpportunityToledo Area Jobs with Justice & Interfaith Worker Justice Coalition
OREGONOregon Women's Action for New Directions
PENNSYLVANIAAction UnitedDelaware County Women's CenterMaternity Care CoalitionOne PennsylvaniaPA ProgressPathWays PAPennsylvania Budget and Policy CenterPhiladelphia Women's CenterWomen’s Medical Fund
TEXASTexas Working Families Party
VIRGINIAFor Our FamiliesNAKASEC - VA
WASHINGTONAll In For WashingtonChildren's AlliancePeace & Justice Action League of Spokane
WEST VIRGINIAWV Citizen Action GroupWV Community Builders
WISCONSINCoalition of Wisconsin Aging GroupsEnd Domestic Abuse WIGRUMPS (GRandparents United for Madison Public Schools)Kids ForwardWisconsin Alliance for Women's HealthWisconsin Coalition of Independent Living CentersWisconsin Faith Voices for Justice