Gillibrand calls out GOP tax plan for its impact on New Yorkers

Legislative Gazette file photo

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is fighting to block the Republican tax plan that has been advancing through the United States Senate this week.

“We need to fix our tax system so that it does more to help working families,” Gillibrand said during a conference call with reporters earlier this week. “The Senate is going to vote on a tax plan on a party line vote and the vote is probably going to happen in the middle of the night when nobody is watching.”

It has been determined that the tax plan will increase taxes for families that make up to $30,000 annually. Families under that umbrella will experience a 13 percent increase in federal taxes by 2021, according to analysis by the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.

New Yorkers will be damaged most directly by the elimination of what is referred to as the SALT Deduction, which would prevent individuals from deducting state and local taxes from their federal dues if enacted. The passage of this bill will ensure that New Yorkers are double-taxed on their income.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently accused the federal government of intentionally picking the pocket of the common New Yorker to spread the cash around to the rest of the United States, essentially subsidizing tax breaks for low tax states by increasing taxes on states like New York, New Jersey and California which have some of the highest property tax rates in the country.

The Senate and House share similarly structured tax proposals.

“Both plans pretend to offer tax relief to the middle class, but in reality the policy they advance is just old, discredited trickle-down economics on steroids:  disproportionate and large cuts for the rich and the big corporations that are then supposed to result in economic growth that is magically passed on to the workers as wage increases,” Cuomo said, “This is a purely ideological concept that lacks data to support either the idea that the economy will be stimulated or that higher wages will result.”

What Republicans are claiming — and Gov. Cuomo is refuting — is that trickle-down economics will be a positive for the United States’ middle class, allowing for businesses to expand and create more jobs, therefore stimulating the economy. This is being viewed as a weak justification for a huge corporate tax cut that will add an estimated $1.5 trillion dollars to the deficit over the next 10 years, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, without addressing the wage stagnation that has left behind many middle class households across the country — despite the economic recovery that has occurred since the financial crisis of 2008.

“It’s a blatant attempt to take millions of family’s hard earned money and hand it over to rich companies on the fortune 500 list,” Gillibrand said.

This tax plan also includes a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, which requires everyone to be insured or face a tax penalty, a measure that would see an estimated 13 million people lose insurance over the next ten years. Premiums are also projected by the CBO to rise 10 percent annually, effectively negating any tax cut a middle class household might see from the GOP tax plan.

Gillibrand says that the Republican tax plan is reflective of “Washington’s culture of staunch corruption at its worst.” She quoted Congressman Chris Collins as saying that Republican donors urged him to support the tax plan or to never seek their support again.