November 30, 2017

Duckworth: GOP Tax Scam Gives Tax Breaks to Donald Trump's Friends and Family and Force Working Americans to Pay the Bill


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today urged her colleagues to oppose the Senate Republican Tax Plan that will cut taxes for the ultrawealthy and large corporations while forcing the middle class and our nation's small businesses to foot the bill. Duckworth reiterated the devastating effects this legislation would have on small businesses and shared examples of the disastrous impact the bill's elimination of deductions like the state and local tax (SALT) deduction would have on Illinoisans. Video of Duckworth's speech is available here.

"We need legislation that is focused on helping working families and middle-class Americans," Duckworth said. "This legislation would double-tax millions of my constituents back in Illinois and leave small businesses at a competitive disadvantage to mega-corporations. This bill is irresponsible. I am unbelievably disappointed Senate Republicans rushed through their proposal to give permanent tax cuts to those who don't need them, while sticking working families with the bill. We know better, and Republicans should know better."

According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the Senate Republicans tax bill would leave people making less than $75,000 a year paying higher taxes than they do now while saving billions of dollars for households making more than $1 million a year. The legislation would also eliminate the state and local tax deduction that nearly 2 million Illinoisans - roughly one third of Illinois taxpayers - rely on to avoid being taxed twice on their hard-earned income.

A full copy of Duckworth's remarks are below:

Senate Republicans are asking my Democratic colleagues and me to vote this afternoon on a tax plan that we literally haven't seen yet, because they wrote it in secret late last night.

If this new proposal is anything like the previous ones, it will be a devastating blow to Illinois and middle-class Americans across the nation.

This bill will punish Illinoisans with double taxation by eliminating the State and Local Tax deduction.

Since the creation of the Federal income tax in 1913, Americans have been protected from double taxation by being allowed to deduct state and local property taxes, income taxes and sales taxes.

In 2015 alone, the SALT deduction saved 1.9 million Illinois households an average of $12,523. More than half of my constituents in Illinois who take this deduction make less than $100,000 per year.

Illinois is a "donor state" - or a state that pays more in Federal taxes than we receive in Federal benefits.

Eliminating this deduction would put pressure on states like ours to cut investments in vital public services, such as our children's education.

Even worse, while hardworking Illinoisans will get double taxed under this bill, wealthy corporations will be allowed to continue to take the SALT deduction, while also getting a massive tax break.

Eliminating the SALT deduction is a direct attack on the middle-class in my State, and allowing businesses but not regular Illinoisans to take this deduction only adds insult to injury.

Their proposal also fails small businesses. Senate Republicans simply refuse to give small businesses the same tax break that large corporations get.

Instead of giving the small mom and pop stores on Main Street who fuel our economy the tax break they so desperately need, Republicans are handing massive corporations a lower tax rate.

This is NOT the middle class tax bill that Republicans in Congress and President Trump promised Americans.

Make no mistake: the wealthiest Americans and corporations - not the middle class - are the true winners in this bill.

Under the Republican tax bill, Americans making between $500,000 and one million dollars a year would receive the largest increases in after-tax income.

Americans who make LESS than $30,000 a year could actually see their after-tax income decrease as early as 2021.

Let's be clear, by massively increasing the deficit by more than one trillion dollars to help the wealthiest households, the Republican tax bill is setting up a future where tax cuts for the wealthy will ultimately be paid by the rest of America - by our children - in the form of cuts to public education and important programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security.

Middle class and low-income Illinoisans will face tax increases under this bill with the provisions like those that eliminate the state and local tax deduction and medical expense deduction.

This means that our children, including my very own three year old Abigail, will have to pick up the tab for large corporations and clean up the mess that Republicans are creating with spending cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security.

I want to work towards comprehensive bipartisan tax reform legislation that benefits all Americans, not just the wealthy, and builds a foundation for a stronger economic future.

My colleagues and I have offered ways on the Floor to improve the bill, but to no avail.

We should go back to the drawing board.

I've long said we need to pass tax reform, but the reforms we pass need to focus on helping our nation's small businesses and middle-class families, not Donald Trump's well-connected, ultra-wealthy friends and family.

Middle-class Americans and small businesses-not mega-corporations and large pass-through entities like the

Trump Organization-deserve a break, and it is so disheartening to see Wall Street once again benefiting at the expense of Main Street.

I am unbelievably disappointed Senate Republicans rushed through their proposal to give permanent tax cuts to those who don't need them, while sticking working families with the bill.

Those who vote for this plan will vote to double-tax millions of Illinoisans, discourage companies from relocating to states like Illinois and leave small businesses at a competitive disadvantage to global conglomerates.

We know better. And they should know better.