Tax Reform Should Put Families First
Republican bill cuts taxes for wealthy, corporations, hikes them for many families.
This week, the U.S. Senate is set to vote on the Republican tax plan. Yet again, Washington is consumed by a debate that is driven by powerful special interests, not the concerns of hardworking middle-class families.
I believe we need to make our tax system simpler and fairer. That’s what I’ve been working for, and that’s why I will be taking a stand against this partisan tax plan this week.
Overall, the Senate Republicans’ plan is largely a tax giveaway to the wealthiest few and big corporations, while millions of middle-class families would get a tax hike.
In fact, most Americans earning less than $75,000 a year would see tax increases.
Big corporate political donors and powerful special interests have thrown their weight and influence behind this legislation, and they are being gifted a tax plan that benefits them, while the middle class foots the bill.
If you look at this partisan plan, a clear theme emerges: Tax breaks for those at the top, at the expense of hardworking middle-class families.
Big corporations would get permanent tax breaks, while middle-class families will see tax increases. Half of American taxpayers will see a tax hike by 2027, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.
And not only does this plan give the top 1% their tax breaks, they want to pay for that massive gift with 13 million more Americans uninsured and a 10% spike in health care premiums. Earlier this year, Wisconsinites spoke out and sent a very clear message to Washington that Congress should not take people’s health care away and increase costs. Including a health care repeal in this tax plan is wrong and it will hurt Wisconsin.
On top of all of that, big corporations can still deduct their state and local taxes, but that deduction is completely eliminated for individual taxpayers. Nearly 1-in-3 Wisconsin taxpayers will lose their personal income, sales and property tax deductions, which average over $11,500. Nearly $10 billion of Wisconsinites’ paychecks would be subject to a double tax.
By hiking taxes on working families, increasing health care costs and eliminating an important deduction for middle-class households, this partisan plan sets Wisconsin up to lose. There are real consequences for the lives, and bottom lines, of Wisconsinites who work hard to make ends meet. Every tax hike and eliminated deduction is money that a Wisconsin family could have used to pay down their mortgage or buy school supplies or cover health care costs. That can’t be lost in this debate.
In addition to giving the top 1% new tax breaks, this tax plan also protects the carried interest tax loophole that favors Wall Street hedge funds. It’s simply unfair for Wisconsin workers to pay a higher income tax rate than a millionaire on Wall Street. President Donald Trump pledged to close this loophole, yet Senate Republicans kept it in place. I want to see loopholes closed, so I have been leading the fight by introducing legislation to close the carried interest tax loophole.
There are more ways we can make tax reform work for Wisconsin families and small businesses, too.
Tax reform should put Wisconsin first, so I’ve introduced legislation that makes the tax system simpler and fairer for Wisconsinites.
My Stronger Way Act would reward hard work, raise incomes and help working families keep more of what they earn by strengthening the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.
Wisconsin small businesses and manufacturers also need tax reforms targeted at them, not powerful corporations and money managers. I’ve proposed improving the current R&D tax credit to make it more accessible for small and medium businesses, especially manufacturers. This would provide tax relief to manufacturers so they can invest in research and development, create jobs and help drive economic growth.
I’ve also introduced legislation to provide tax relief to start-ups, so we can free up investments to create jobs. My bill would make it easier for entrepreneurs to start new small businesses right here in Wisconsin.
These are real tax reforms that will make our tax system simpler and fairer. That is what Washington should be working toward this week.
We need tax reform that puts Wisconsin’s middle-class families first. Those hardworking families are who I will be thinking about as I fight against this partisan tax proposal in front of the Senate.
Tammy Baldwin is a Democratic U.S. Senator from Wisconsin.