PRESS RELEASE: Maine families lose in final GOP tax deal

December 20, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 20, 2017

CONTACT:
Mario Moretto
mario@mecep.org
(207) 620-1101

Maine families lose in GOP tax deal

Tax increases for families, cuts to health care will trickle down from GOP plan

AUGUSTA, MAINE — Republican majorities in Congress on Wednesday gave final approval to a tax package that will exacerbate inequality for generations to come. Garrett Martin, executive director of the Maine Center for Economic Policy, released the following statement: 

“The way to make America great is to ensure that we have the resources to support thriving communities and promote opportunity for all. The tax bill Congress passed today will do just the opposite for generations to come. It blows a huge hole in the budget and Congressional leaders are already promising to fill that whole by making cuts to successful programs that put health care, education, food and housing within reach for working families. It does so in order to deliver massive tax cuts to large corporations, wealthy foreign investors and the richest families in our country.
 
Once again, wealthy special interests and large corporations have successfully manipulated the tax code in their favor. While many Maine families will get a tax cut as a result of this plan in the near future, the benefits they receive pale in comparison to what the wealthy and large corporations get. What’s worse is that the tax cuts for individuals phase out over time while the cuts for corporations are permanent. As a result, eight out of ten Maine families will see their taxes increase by the time this law is fully implemented.

Congress had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reform the tax code to foster a better future for all Americans. Instead, they are asking the many to subsidize the increasingly large fortunes of the few. This is no way to build a strong economy and promote shared prosperity.”

KEY FACTS AND FIGURES FROM THE GOP TAX BILL:

  • $88 million: Increase in Mainers’ taxes by 2027 as a result of this bill. The tax bill will ultimately increase taxes on the bottom 80 percent of Mainers, according to a MECEP analysis of ITEP data. In total, Maine families will pay $88 million more in federal taxes in 2027 if this bill becomes law. The bill features a misleading bait-and-switch, whereby temporary tax cuts for working families evaporate over time: For example, by 2027 a middle-income family in Maine will see their initial $670 tax cut replaced by a tax increase that will leave them paying $280 more than they pay today. Meanwhile, tax cuts for big corporations, wealthy families and foreign investors remain in place permanently. [SOURCE].
  • 50 percent: Share of national wealth controlled by top 3 percent of Americans. This bill marks a watershed moment for wealth inequality. For four decades, a larger and larger share of the country’s income and wealth accumulated to the richest Americans. Today, the top 3 percent of Americans control half of all wealth in this county. This tax plan further greases the wheels for the country’s elites, allowing them to accumulate wealth faster, while low- and middle-income Americans pay more for less secure communities, worse education and reduced access to health care. [SOURCE].
  • 50,000: Mainers estimated to lose health insurance if the tax bill becomes law. Repeal of the individual mandate, as contained in the tax bill, would drive up the cost of health insurance in Maine significantly and cause 50,000 fewer Mainers to have health insurance in 2027. Repealing the mandate would cause many younger, healthier Americans to leave the health insurance marketplace, driving up costs on those remaining. The most recent analysis by the Congressional Budget Office indicates that 13 million fewer Americans will have health care coverage as a result of this bill’s passage, and those remaining in the individual marketplace would see premiums increase by 10 percent. [SOURCE].
    $25 billion: Automatic cuts to Medicare under federal PAYGO rules.Under current federal law, the bill will automatically trigger cuts to hundreds of federal programs, including $25 billion in cuts to Medicare. Federal cuts to education, infrastructure, health care and economic development will cause the cost of those programs to be shifted to state and local governments.[SOURCE].

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