President Trump has just signed into law the most sweeping changes to the U.S. Tax Code in a generation. While there are some things to praise, the American Solidarity Party is deeply concerned that other changes will damage the common good, and that such far-reaching policy decisions were made without any attempt to reach across the aisle or consult independent analysts to find common ground and common sense solutions.
We applaud the expansion of the child tax credit in particular, but denounce the fact that some immigrant children have been made ineligible, and regret that the refundable portion was not expanded more to benefit poorer and larger families. Some marriage penalties in the Tax Code have been fixed, but some new ones have also been introduced. We appreciate that Section 529 plans will be usable for K-12 private school tuition, but express concern that other changes will make it harder for states and localities to adequately fund public schools and other public services.
Most of the tax cuts are given to business owners, by lowering the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, and giving businesses that don’t have to pay a corporate tax a 20% deduction against their taxable profits. We favor “a fair and progressive tax system that ends subsidies and exemptions which disproportionately benefit the wealthy and favor speculation over work.” Special tax cuts for business owners but not for employees, and especially the benefits for real estate investors that were added at the last minute, go in precisely the opposite direction. We also support worker-owned cooperatives and regret that nothing in these tax changes encourages business owners to grant equity shares to their employees. In fact, raising the estate tax exemption to over $11 million per person encourages wealthy families to sock businesses into trusts for tax-free inheritances, instead of selling the business to their employees when the original owners retire.
H.R. 1 is estimated to add $1.5 trillion to the deficit over the next decade, and could end up being more if the tax cuts scheduled to expire in 2026 are extended. This is already providing an excuse to cut healthcare programs for children, other social benefit programs, and infrastructure investments. We are running up the debt ever faster, and our children will eventually pay the price. We are cutting the programs that help our communities survive and thrive in the name of “fiscal responsibility,” while handing enormous tax cuts to businesses that are already flush with unused cash reserves.
Perhaps worst of all, the law “essentially repeals Obamacare,” as President Trump admitted shortly after it was passed. An estimated 13 million Americans are expected to lose their health insurance because it will drive up the cost of premiums and encourage insurers to quit providing policies to the individual market. The American Solidarity Party is firmly committed to securing universal access to affordable healthcare, and calls on Congress to take immediate action to secure this access for children and adults who are impacted by the tax bill and the expiration of CHIP funding.
The long-term effects of this rushed, partisan tax legislation are yet unknown. What is clear is that we need new leadership in Congress; representatives who are committed to pursuing the common good, on common ground, with common sense. We are actively recruiting candidates to run or endorse in 2018 who are committed to the sanctity of human life, the necessity of social justice, our responsibility for the environment, and the pursuit of peace. If you know of such a candidate or are considering running yourself, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.