HAWAII'S ONLY WEEKLY FILIPINO-AMERICAN NEWSPAPER
SERVING THE FILIPINO COMMUNITY SINCE 1993
JAN. 6, 2018
COMMENTARY

Why I Voted Against the Partisan Corporate-Handout Tax Bill

by Rep. Tulsi GABBARD

I voted against the Republicans’ tax reform plan, for the second time, which will raise taxes on millions of low and middle-class families, reward corporations and top wage-earners with permanent, massive tax breaks, and add over $1.46 trillion to the national deficit. After requiring a re-vote in the House due to technical change requirements discovered by the Senate last night, the House passed H.R. 1 again today by a vote of 224-201.

This tax bill was written by and for lobbyists and the corporations who sign their paychecks, without consideration of the lasting impact it will have on low-income and middle-class families who are struggling just to make ends meet - the reality for so many Hawai‘i families and millions more nationwide. It should be no surprise that with this legislation, the top 1% in our country will receive over 82 percent of the tax benefit.

While industry giants see the largest corporate tax cut in American history made permanent, 86 million low and middle-class families will pay higher taxes in eight years than they do today.

 In Hawai‘i, where the average cost of a single-family home is well over $700,000, lowering the mortgage interest deduction means many local families will find it even more difficult to achieve their dreams of homeownership in our home state, as the cost of living continues to rise.

 As long as Congressional leaders continue to pass legislation rushed through for partisan political reasons, where lobbyists have more input in writing this legislation than many Members of Congress, with no effort whatsoever to enact true bipartisan reform, in the end, the American people lose. This legislation is a disappointment, and a lost opportunity to truly help millions of Americans in need.”

 Harmful provisions in the final version of the tax bill include:

Dismantling the State and Local Tax (SALT) Deduction, which will effectively raise taxes on those who will no longer benefit from the deduction. Under current law, the SALT deduction is unlimited, but this legislation limits the deductions of both individuals and couples up to only $10,000, while allowing corporations and pass-through entities to continue claiming the unlimited deduction.

Creating billions of dollars in environmentally harmful fossil fuel subsidies and tax loopholes while putting incentives for clean energy in jeopardy.

Permanently lowering corporate taxes rates to 21 percent-- the largest one-time corporate tax cut in US history--while making tax cuts for some middle class families temporary. By 2026, over 86 million low and middle-class families will pay higher taxes than they do.

Cutting taxes for the America’s top wage earners by nearly three percent and raising the threshold at which that tax rate kicks in to $500,000 for individuals and $600,000 for married couples.

Laying the foundation for a $136 billion cut to mandatory programs in FY2018 alone—including a mandatory $25 billion cut to Medicare—to cover the offset of the $1.46 trillion dollar increase to our national deficit. In Hawai‘i, 245,000 people receive healthcare through Medicare.

Reducing the limit on the mortgage interest deduction, further exacerbating the affordable housing crisis in Hawai‘i.

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Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has fought to protect the hard-earned paychecks of low and middle income Americans and against corporate tax breaks throughout her time in Congress. She voted against the Republicans’ corporate giveaway tax bill in the House and called on the conference committee to serve and protect hardworking American families.

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