Statement from Rep. Peter DeFazio on H.R. 1, Republican Tax Plan
WASHINGTON – Rep. Peter DeFazio released the following statement about H.R. 1, the Republican tax plan:
“Republicans promised their overhaul of the tax code would help working Americans and grow our economy. That is not the reality of their tax bill, which was written behind closed doors on a totally partisan basis. The tax breaks in this plan will skyrocket our national debt and only give a pittance to the middle class. 83 percent of the benefits go to Americans making over $400,000, while over half of America’s middle class will see a tax increase.
“The plan contains unprecedented tax cuts for the wealthy, including reducing the rate on income over half a million dollars and doubling the estate tax exemption. It also cuts taxes for large corporations and wealthy passive real estate and other investors, once again highlighting a dubious claim that cutting corporate taxes benefits workers in the form of more jobs and increased wages. In reality, previous corporate cuts have only led to stock buyback, dividends, and executive bonuses.
“And how are these handouts to the wealthy paid for? Outrageous hits to the middle class. This plan targets states that voted blue by capping state and local income tax deductibility, hiking taxes on Oregonians by forcing them to pay taxes twice on their income. While the few provisions that benefit the middle class expire, the corporate cuts and estate tax elimination are permanent.
“Even with hits to middle income families, the price tag on the Republican plan is at least $1.5 trillion. Our national debt has ballooned to nearly twenty trillion dollars, and raising our national debt further will create an increase in interest rates and further hurt working Americans that have to borrow for mortgages, cars, and education. Even worse, the majority has already begun discussing going after Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to pay for the additional debt. PAYGO requires legislative changes that increase the deficit to be offset by spending cuts. These would include hundreds of billions in cuts to Medicare, doubling the fees charged for student loans, and cuts to social services, transportation programs, and assistance for workers displaced by NAFTA and other failed trade agreements. Cutting taxes for the wealthy at the expense of these programs is incomprehensible.
“I am appalled Republican leadership would push such a cruel piece of legislation, continuing to focus on winning cheap political points and keeping wealthy donors at the expense of the middle class. While the GOP pops champagne to celebrate the passage of their flawed tax plan, I will be doing everything in my power to protect Americans from tax hikes and cuts to critical programs.”