Statement On the Republican Tax Scam

After Hurricane Maria struck land in Puerto Rico, devastating the infrastructure and economy of the island, Americans who had just lost everything looked to their government for lifesaving support. Proud citizens all across the country banded together to provide food, resources, and financial support to their fellow Americans in a time of need. Jim Jordan, meanwhile, took a different path and used his position of influence and power to fight hard against public funding for the victims, reasoning that it would add too much to the deficit. In the end, he voted against both bills that provided aid to Houston and Puerto Rico. Jim Jordan asked “how [the bill] makes sense with $20 trillion debt”.

Today, this same man voted today to add 1.4 trillion dollars to the U.S. debt over the next ten years in his vote in favor of the Republican Tax Scam.

Jim Jordan stated, on no uncertain terms, “I’ve never subscribed to the Washington ‘revenue-neutral thinking.’ It’s like: Put together a tax plan that produces economic growth; don’t let it be constrained by anything else." He believes that when it comes to helping hurricane survivors we are constrained by the debt, but not when it comes to tax cuts for the wealthy and for the largest businesses in this country. If Jim Jordan believes that we can afford to balloon the deficit when it comes to tax cuts, how can he turn down a comparatively tiny plan to save the economies of regions worth over $550 billion dollars to the U.S. economy? Jim Jordan is willing to increase the deficit of the United States by nearly $850 billion more than the combined economies of Puerto Rico and Houston. Still, Jim Jordan didn’t think we can afford to save nearly 6 million people’s homes, jobs, and lives.

Supporting tax cuts is understandable. The government ought to help middle class families with tax relief. We need to keep American business here in the United States. But, we also need to take care of our fellow citizens in times of environmental and economic crisis. The hypocrisy of tacitly supporting an increase in the deficit (in the form of tax cuts with no viable method of financing them) is unacceptable, especially after using the deficit as a justification to withhold disaster relief.

The bill passed by the house today will be devastating for the national debt, for middle class Americans, and for the entire country. While we struggle to pay for essential programs like social security (and yes, disaster relief), this plan doubles the tax benefit for people inheriting more than $5.5 million, so that no money is owed on anything over 11 million dollars. Jim Jordan ought to ask himself if people inheriting $11 million are really the ones who need our help the most. Jordan also voted to eliminate the alternative minimum tax so that the billionaires abusing Washington’s tax cut buffet can avoid paying anything through seemingly endless tax loopholes. This makes it easy for the richest Americans to avoid taxes altogether. Next time you pay your taxes, it’s worth asking yourself why Jim Jordan thinks you should be paying so many taxes while Warren Buffett (the second richest man in the U.S.) pays a tax rate in the teens. By 2027 half of the benefits from this tax plan will go to the top 1% of income earners. That’s 700 billion dollars to the richest people in America. $700 billion is a lot of money to hand over to America’s wealthiest citizens while denying disaster relief to Houston, America’s fourth largest city.

The worst part of this bill, however, is that Jim Jordan and his colleagues wait until 2023 to repeal tax benefits that most benefit the middle class. By repealing things like the deductions that benefit the middle class, the Republican plan is clearly designed to primarily for the wealthy. This plan will lower the mortgage deduction and eliminate deductions for medical expenses, student loan payments, and property theft. This is right in line with Jim Jordan’s position that the government can afford to give money back to the rich, but not to those devastated by natural disasters, property theft, or medical emergencies. While the wealthiest Americans get $700 billion it becomes harder for middle class Americans to get a mortgage and even more challenging to make it through college.

Ohio, and middle class Americans, cannot afford this Republican tax plan. Jim Jordan’s hypocrisy is causing Americans to suffer, and it is time for it to stop.

We can afford to do more for people who are hurting, for people who are working hard, and for people who are just starting to make it in this country. We need a plan that lifts people up, not that keeps only a few people at the top. It is time to restore Washington’s focus on the middle class, and for Ohioans to get the representation they deserve.

Janet GarrettComment