Today, President Trump will take center stage at the Indiana State Fairgrounds to push his latest tax plan, cooked up with congressional Republican leaders. Expect to hear a lot of the same, tired talking points we’ve heard from Trump and his administration before—tax cuts for all Americans; this isn’t about the wealthy; more tax cuts = more jobs.
What’s the reality? Trump’s newest proposed tax plan is very similar to his tax outline released in April, which would slash the tax rate for the richest Americans, “cutting their taxes by an average of $40,000 every year.” For Indiana specifically, “the richest 1 percent of Indianans would receive 46 percent of the state’s tax cuts” under that plan. The idea that these cuts would “trickle down” and create jobs has been proved false again and again. Instead, these cuts would line the pockets of Trump and his friends. The reduction of the corporate tax rate in the “new” plan would push corporations’ effective tax rate even lower, which is already at 22 percent after all the deductions and credits they are allowed. And there’s no evidence to show that corporations would re-invest the extra money in the economy and American workers. Even though corporations are sitting on extreme amounts of cash today, “real business investment has remained well below its historic trend.” In addition, Trump will most likely highlight his plan to double the standard deduction for Americans. But according to a new report, the plan would only “increase the standardized deductions available to taxpayers by 15% or less. And, perhaps most shocking of all, his proposal would actually increase the tax rate of the lowest tax bracket, from 10 percent to 12 percent.
What about paying for these tax cuts? Trump’s April plan would have blown up to a $5 trillion hole in the deficit over the next ten years. We don’t know yet how much the new plan will cost, but, even if it’s less, Trump and congressional Republican leaders are playing a shell game: They will turn around and say the deficit is forcing them to cut funding for priorities that Americans rely on like Medicaid, schools, housing, infrastructure and more. In other words, Trump is conspiring with congressional Republican leaders to enrich himself and his friends by taking money from programs that ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to participate in our economy.
ACTION OF THE DAY
#NotOnePenny. While Trump boasts about his tax plan in Indiana, we must call on Congress to reject tax cuts for the wealthy! Most Americans oppose Trump’s tax plan. Head to NotOnePenny.org and HandsOff.org to learn how to fight back against Trump’s plan to rig the tax code to line his own pockets. And then share the graphic below!
Sigh of Relief…For Now. Yesterday, the resistance scored another victory, as Republican Senate leadership decided not to bring up for a vote the Graham-Cassidy bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This proves that activism works, and the over 25,000 comments received by the Senate Finance Committee made a serious impact. While this allows us to take a quick sigh of relief, the next battle is right around the corner. With Trump and his administration attempting to sabotage the ACA, it’s time for a bipartisan effort, like that of Senators Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray which restarted yesterday, to stabilize the markets and fund cost-sharing reductions (CSRs).
Abortion Ban. Speaking of health care, the House is taking another stab at rolling back access to safe abortion by voting on a 20-week abortion ban next week. Tomorrow is International Safe Abortion Day, and it should serve as a reminder that before the landmark Roe v. Wade case, thousands of women were injured or died from unsafe, unregulated abortions. And in the developing world, millions of women and girls experience death and injuries due to unsafe abortion every year. Head to the White House tomorrow for a rally in support of safe abortion access for women at home and abroad.
Moore Bigotry. Last night, Roy Moore defeated Senator Luther Strange, his Trump-backed opponent, in the primary runoff. Despite stumping for Strange just last week, Trump switched his support to Moore, deleting old tweets about Strange and writing, “Spoke to Roy Moore of Alabama last night for the first time. Sounds like a really great guy who ran a fantastic race. He will help to #MAGA!” Moore was supported by people such as Steve Bannon and Sarah Palin, who called Moore “deplorable before it was cool to be deplorable.” But Moore represents extremely radical ideas. He is a birthist; he believe homosexuality should be illegal; and he called 9/11 God’s punishment for “perverseness.” It’s disturbing to see the Republican party now rally behind Moore’s reactionary vision for America and refuse to condemn Moore’s rhetoric.
Culture War. Wondering why President Trump is spending so much time talking about the protests of NFL players instead of so many other important issues at hand? It will come as no surprise that, according to some of his close allies, Trump privately admitted that he was purposefully engaging in a “culture war on behalf of his white, working-class base.” He has done so to appease his ever-dwindling base of supporters whom he feared disapproved of his endorsement of an establishment Republican in Luther Strange and his bipartisan debt ceiling deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Expect to see more drastic far-right rhetoric aimed at driving a wedge in communities as the embattled President desperately attempts to cling to his shrinking base.
UNDER THE RADAR
Parks and Recreation. The $887 billion outdoor recreation industry is big business. A new scorecard out today gives grades to 11 western states on their policies as they relate to protecting public lands and promoting greater access for outdoor recreation. Colorado and Montana earned the highest grades, while Utah – known for its efforts to sell off public lands – ranked last. The report also includes a menu of policy options that states could adopt to further expand this profitable industry.