Senate tax bill harmful, irresponsible

Dec 04, 2017

Minnesota Budget Project Director Nan Madden’s public statement on the Senate tax bill passed last week:

I’m extremely disappointed, and frankly alarmed, that such a harmful, irresponsible and unpopular tax bill was passed.

The bill gives large and permanent tax cuts to profitable corporations at the expense of most Americans. The harm will be dramatic, particularly to those who look to the safety net to get through rough times or to health care supports like Medicaid to live and thrive. The tax cuts add more than $1 trillion to the deficit, and to pay for it, policymakers have clear plans to come back and deeply cut health care and other critical services, leaving the nation’s children, elderly, people with disabilities, workers, and families worse off.

The fast-track process that allowed this sweeping tax legislation to pass the Senate without bipartisan support also required that it not add to the nation’s deficit after 2027. The bill’s authors have cynically sought to meet that requirement through a set of fiscally irresponsible gimmicks that hide the true cost of the bill and fail to prioritize everyday Americans. For example, the provisions that provide individual income tax cuts expire, while making the corporate tax rate cut permanent. It would increase taxes for millions of working-class and middle-class families.

Further, this bill includes damaging health care policies that would result in 13 million fewer Americans with health insurance, and increase premiums for those who purchase health insurance in the individual market.

In all, this is about the worst set of policies that could be packaged together. Small changes won’t change the fundamental flaws in this bill. These aren’t the priorities that most Americans expect.

Minnesota’s elected officials need to take a strong stand against this dangerous tax bill. Policymakers should sharpen their pencils and go back to work to craft a tax plan that doesn’t pave the way for deep cuts in health care and other crucial services, and that doesn’t provide big tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy at the expense of families living paycheck to paycheck.