December 15, 2017

Corporations and the Rich Get Everything They Want in Pending Tax Bill, Working People, Not So Much

news release

Following is a statement by Alan Essig, executive director of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, regarding the pending tax proposal.

“The tax fight is not yet over, but House and Senate conferees have agreed on a tax bill, and the Republican caucus has publicly stated that it has enough votes to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

“The last successful attempt by Congress to overhaul the nation’s tax code was the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which was signed into law by President Reagan. That bipartisan legislation took 13 months to come to fruition. It closed tax loopholes, wiped out many tax shelters, and made the system much simpler. Ironically, Donald Trump opposed the law, and in testimony before a congressional committee in 1991, he called it, ‘1986 catastrophe of the tax reform act.’  The New York real estate investor successfully lobbied Congress to reinstate loopholes for his industry.

“History repeats itself but never repeats itself exactly. Trump told Congress that the 1986 law was a ‘catastrophe’ for the tax sheltering he engaged in, but far more Americans will let Congress know that the 2017 law is a catastrophe for their daily lives. This time it won’t be wealthy real estate investors like Donald Trump, because they got exactly what they want in this bill. It won’t be CEO’s of large corporations that can shift profits offshore, because they got exactly what they want in this bill.

“When Americans tell Congress about the tax catastrophe of 2017, it will be the middle-class families with children who now pay higher taxes so that wealthy business owners can pay less. It will be the working people who pay more so that corporate shareholders, including foreign investors, can benefit from corporate tax cuts.

“This is not governing, it’s hijacking our tax code. Nearly 30 years ago, Trump was well connected enough that he was able to go to Congress and testify about how tax changes affected his business. Ordinary working people are rarely lucky enough to talk about their personal experiences in front of a congressional committee. So if they want to make their views known about the catastrophe of 2017, it will have to be in election of 2018.”