TN Congressional Delegation Puts Coal in Stockings

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DECEMBER 20, 2017

Contact: Andy Spears, 615-815-4544 or andy@tnca.org

 

Constituents, Health Care Advocates Call Out Lawmakers After Vote to Cut Health Care and Give Millionaires $55,000 Annual Tax Break

 

 Tennesseans Oppose Massive Gifts to the Rich and Wall Street Corporations Paid for By Cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and the Affordable Care Act

 

[Nashville, TN] –Constituents, advocates and community leaders called out every Republican member of Tennessee’s congressional delegation following their votes to support the Trump tax package. Over objections from Tennessee citizens, every single Republican in our state’s congressional delegation voted in favor of the final version of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act even though the legislation repeals part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and forces $25 billion in automatic cuts to Medicare annually to give trillions in tax breaks to the richest households and multi-national corporations like Apple, Pfizer, and Wells Fargo.

 

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the legislation would result in 13 million more uninsured people and premium increases of up to 10% for millions of ACA enrollees. An estimated 262,000 Tennesseans will go without insurance coverage under the bill, shifting costs to families, providers, state governments and other consumers. Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan also announced that Republicans plan to pursue cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and other safety net programs to address the trillion-dollar increase to the deficit created by the tax bill.

 

“The Republicans spent most of this year trying to repeal the ACA and dismantle Medicaid, but they failed time and time again because Tennesseans don’t want cuts to health care. With this tax bill, they’ve managed to repeal a key pillar of the ACA and force cuts in Medicare and Medicaid by hiding the health care cuts in a massive $1.5 trillion package that revamps the tax code in all the wrong ways,” said Andy Spears, executive director of Tennessee Citizen Action.

 

The numbers tell the story. The richest 1% of households and large multi-national corporations will get the majority of tax cuts in the Republican bill. In 2018, the richest 1 percent will receive an average tax cut of $55,000—this is slightly more than the average annual income of taxpayers in the middle-income quintile. By 2027, the richest 1% of households in the country would collect 83% of the tax cuts in the bill. In Tennessee, the richest 1% would get 30% of the tax cuts, while the poorest 20% of Tennesseans would get 1%.

 

The Republican tax bill also gives huge tax breaks to Wall Street corporations and multi-national corporations by permanently cutting the corporate tax rates from 35% to 21% and giving corporations that have profits stashed offshore a $400 billion discount on taxes they already owe the United States. Wealthy business owners like President Trump will also get a new 20% tax deduction that gives pass-through businesses like Trump’s a reduced tax rate from 39.6% to 29.6%.  Trump owns more than 500 pass-through companies.

 

“President Trump has been characterizing this tax bill as a huge gift for the country, promising lower taxes and more jobs for everyone. But, in fact, working and middle-class people will suffer under this bill because of tax hikes and service cuts. Not only does the bill raise taxes by eliminating key deductions, but it also forces cuts in programs that will ensure that we pay more for critical services and health care over the next decade,” said Spears.

 

Constituents called on Tennessee’s GOP lawmakers to explain their votes, which hurt Tennessee families, cuts jobs, and shift greater burdens to the state budget. Local leaders also called on our state’s congressional delegation to commit to opposition to cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, ACA, Social Security and other public investments in 2018.

 

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