December 19, 2017

Congress Snubs the Will of the People, Appeases Wealthy Donors

press release

Following is a statement by Alan Essig, executive director of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, regarding the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which is expected to be enacted this week.

“This tax giveaway to corporations and the wealthy is icing on the cake after a long, well-funded and strategic effort to undermine democratic processes and force our nation’s institutions to represent the will of the elite few above anyone and anything else.

“It would be a mistake to look at this tax bill as a legislative aberration. The 2010 Citizens United decision shoved open already leaky floodgates that have allowed the well-heeled to dictate our nation’s electoral outcomes and public policies. Lawmakers have been clear that their ‘donors’ and ‘corporate CEOs’ are the driving force behind this tax overhaul, and they have been content to ignore opinion polling that indicates the public is against this legislation by a margin of 2-to-1.

“During his inaugural address, President Trump gave a nod to widening income inequality and said he would focus on ‘forgotten Americans.’ But this tax bill proves this was nothing more than paying lip service to one of the most persistent problems of this generation.

“Research shows that nearly half of working families would have trouble scraping together $400 for a minor emergency. Instead of taking time to understand and explore this very real social issue, lawmakers have decided to use the federal tax code to funnel more of the nation’s wealth to the richest among us. Cake for the very rich and crumbs and trickle-down promises for the rest of us will not improve economic security for hardworking people.

“Lawmakers will surely turn the passage of this bill into a dog and pony show, but they should be ashamed.”

View ITEP’s analysis of the tax bill