Halloween: Tricks on Us, Treats for Them
The GOP tax bill started its path through Congress today with the House passage of the budget blueprint.
The GOP tax initiative is a heist in high heels. It’s a scandal wrapped in an Hermes scarf. It’s a gift to large corporations and multi-millionaires, tied up in a big red-white-and blue bow. It’s a sham, flimsily disguised as serious economic policy.
The GOP tax bill will try again to do what the ill-fated, ill-conceived GOP’s ACA repeal effort did not accomplish: to sabotage health services that are essential to the most vulnerable among us.
What’s creepy this Halloween is the impact of the proposed tax bill on essential health services, everything from food support programs to payments for Aunt Suzie’s Medicaid-funded $90,000 a year nursing home.
And did anyone whisper, Medicare cuts?
Michael Kink, Executive Director of Strong Economy for All Coalition, said,
A trillion-dollar cut to Medicaid and Medicare will set off a series of destructive explosions throughout our healthcare system. For seniors, for families struggling with addiction and substance use disorders in the midst of the opioid crisis, for working-class families and Americans with disabilities including HIV/AIDS, the GOP tax and budget plan could well be a death sentence. At the very moment we need our public health and healthcare systems to be strong and do more, they're taking a trillion dollars away to fund tax cuts for Wall Street billionaires and big corporations. It's dangerous and deadly, and all Americans should join us to fight it.
Halloween Tax Protest in NYC
You are cordially invited to a Halloween tax protest rally—or better yet, hold your own near the offices of your nearest GOP elected official:
- NYC Tax Protest: They Get the Treats, Trick’s on US
- Sat. Oct. 28 2017, 10:30-11:30 am
- Battery Park at Castle Clinton, Lower Manhattan, New York City
- #TrumpTaxScam , #TaxReform, #NotOnePenny, #StopTrumpTaxCuts
At this event, Morris Pearl, Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires advocacy group, will speak out and reject the inequitable GOP tax plan. So will a Brooklyn-based retired medical librarian, whose disabled sister relies on Medicaid, as did her recently deceased father, who needed government funded nursing home care.
“They’re Coming For....”!?
Folks not given to paranoia or overstatement are saying things like, “They’re coming for Medicare, they’re coming for Medicaid.”
The tax bill brouhaha is not just about today’s crisis du jour, which happens to be whether tax payers in blue states and big cities like New York and Los Angeles will be able to continue to deduct their sky-high state and local taxes, although that’s not nothin’.
This tax fight is about what happens when $1.5 trillion dollars are cut from life-sustaining federal programs. Senate Minority Chuck Schumer ruminated during an advocacy call a few days ago about what happens when that $1.5 trillion budget haircut proposed by the GOP today turns into a monstrous $5 trillion deficit tomorrow.
Schumer said of the consequences of the GOP tax initiative, “It will fundamentally change America, and not for the better.” He described a dystopian scenario of a future American government “unable to help those who truly need help,” if Trump’s tax giveaway passes. Think: clean water, emergency funds after natural disasters, responses to epidemics, not to mention housing support, educational services, and help for the food insecure, chronically ill, and aged.
“Scary” is a word you never want to hear from a sober, concerned, and experienced elected official. We’re there.
Even Forbes Magazine ran an article this week, How GOP Budget Plan Will Wallop Retirees, warning of the impact on Medicare:
The federal budget plan that the Senate passed last week is full of landmines for retirees. In keeping with long-term Republican proposals to privatize Medicare and Social Security and slash Medicaid, the budget template would hurt tens of millions of retirees.
And for what? So the super-rich can get richer? So that even more corporate money flows into politics? This reads like bad plot from a failed novelist. Trump’s tax plan gives a pittance (if even) to the majority of Americans—some of whom will even pay higher taxes. The Washington-based think tank Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy fleshes out the horror-show details of the GOP giveaway, based on recent data and what’s currently known of the evolving GOP tax policy plan:
Nationally, more than two-thirds (67 percent) of the tax cuts contained in the framework would go to the richest one percent of Americans in 2018. These taxpayers are projected to have incomes of at least $615,800 next year. They would receive an average tax cut of $90,610 in 2018 alone, which would increase their incomes by an average of 4.3 percent.
The middle fifth of households, people who are literally the “middle-class,” are projected to earn between $41,000 and $66,000 in 2018. These households would receive an average tax cut of just $410 next year, which would increase their incomes by an average of just 0.8 percent. The definition of “middle-class” varies by state but, as the state-by-state figures in this report demonstrate, in no state is this group the focus of the framework’s benefits.
In fact, many households in the middle- and upper-middle portions of the income distribution would see their tax bills rise under the framework.
What to Do? Mount a Grassroots Tax Protest and Keep the Heat on Your Senator and Congressional Rep
Tell your local Member of Congress in no uncertain terms that you oppose the giveaway to corporations and the already-uber-wealthy, and to vote no to the GOP tax bill. Deliver a mock check to Billionaires, GOP Donors and Multinational Corporations made out from the account of the American Taxpayer—take a selfie of your protest, and flog that imagery on social media till the GOP is too embarrassed to vote “yes” to this initiative.
“How To” Resource List
Luckily, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to have a rally or protest against this inequitable tax bill. Here are some excellent sites for material, kits, and data helping organize a tax protest in your district or state.
- For state by state data on how much the wealthy in each state will gain, see the state-specific write ups by Washington-based think tank Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. Note that you can also use this data as material for an op ed to your local newspaper.
- Americans for Tax Fairness
- Strong Economy for All Coalition
- Patriotic Millionaires
- Health Care for America Now
- For how to make your own checks and “Mr. Moneybags” face masks, see this online guide to a DIY Tax Protest
Disclosure: The writer is participating in organizing the NYC Tax Protest rally.