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
Statement on Jim Jordan's Hearing with AG Jeff Sessions

This morning, Jim Jordan took to the House floor to spew conspiracy theories about the Obama Administration and the Hillary Clinton campaign. Jordan embarrassed the entire state of Ohio with his incoherent rant.

Even the Trump Administration admits that these accusations are not based in reality. Jordan asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions, “What’s it going to take to actually get a special counsel [to investigate the Clinton Campaign]?” Sessions stated,

“It would take a factual basis that meets the standards of the appointment of a special counsel.”

Jim Jordan has been peddling these conspiracy theories all over the media over the last several weeks, angrily calling for a special counsel. The fact that Jim Jordan brought those conspiracy theories to the floor of Congress undermines the integrity of the entire institution, and that is not acceptable.

As if Jim’s lies were not damning enough, he went on to attack Special Counsel Bob Mueller. Bob Mueller is a patriot and a servant of the American people. Shame on Jim for undermining Mueller’s ability to see through his investigation into the attack on our Democracy last November. Because that is what it was: an attack on our Democracy. No foreign power, whether they throw support behind Republicans or Democrats should EVER have an influence in our election. I continue to be disturbed every single day by Jordan’s ambivalence on this issue.

I am over Hillary Clinton’s loss. It was painful and I wish the result had been different, but we must move on and look to the future. Jim Jordan is unfit to serve Ohio and he must be held accountable next November.

Janet Garrett 1 Comment
Statement on Texas Church Massacre

OBERLIN, OH - Let me again express sincere heartbreak and mourning for the victims of the horrific shooting in Texas yesterday. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

With that being said, I cannot offer my thoughts and prayers alone. Something can and must be done before more families are massacred in a peaceful Sunday service. Complacency is not an option.

What is most striking to me is that for every other tragedy, when Americans die, we do everything we can to make sure it never happens again. When trains derail, vehicles malfunction, viruses spread, or when a natural disaster tears apart one of our cities, we always ask ourselves: why did this happen, what could we have done differently, and what can we do to prevent disasters like this from happening again? But we are not as critical when it comes to tragedies involving guns. Instead we offer up our condolences and move on with our lives. I understand that gun control is a touchy subject for many and that opinions are polarized. But even with such a divisive issue, we have to be able to find some common ground.

Let’s start with with consensus: 92% of Americans (and 87% of Republicans) believe that there should be background checks for all gun buyers. After the shooting in Las Vegas last month, 82% of Americans support bans on bump stocks. Three-quarters of Americans support creating a national database for gun sales and implementing a three-day waiting period, while a majority of Americans believe in limiting ammunition purchases and the number of gun purchases per month. This is a start. Our leaders must find the moral courage to act on these common beliefs and resist special interests, who impede action at every step.

I have been a gun owner for about ten years, and I have always supported the Second Amendment. But those who try to convince you that this is a binary issue, that you must either be for guns or against them, are seeking to divide us. We can support the Second Amendment while also doing more to protect our families and our neighbors.

Finding the right level of gun regulation will take long and vigorous debate, but debate is what is necessary for democracy to work. The debate must happen and it must happen now. Whatever the conclusion may be, it’s clear that we must find a more appropriate balance between the Second Amendment and public safety, and it is clear that the American people support doing more.

Janet Garrett