A guest post from 3rd Congressional District Democratic candidate Eddie Mauro.
It appears that David Young has come down with Trump’s disease — the inability to tell fact from fiction.
In a newsletter titled “Myth vs. Fact on the Tax Plan” sent out a week ago, the Third District congressman said the Republican-authored tax bill was good for Iowans. For one thing, he said, it gets rid of the estate tax, which he said prevents Iowa farmers from bequeathing their farms to their heirs.
But as The Des Moines Register reported, the estate tax affected only 32 out of nearly a million and a half Iowans filing tax returns in 2012. “[T]he vast majority of those probably were not farmers,” the paper said.
That, plus the GOP’s willful distortion of the finding of the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, is just one example of how the tax legislation is woefully short-sighted at best and deceitful at worst.
I get that after failing to separate tens of millions of Americans from their health insurance, Republicans felt they needed to do something to mollify their big donors. But a massive giveaway to corporations and those who have the money to invest is not what this country needs. Nor does America need a foolish revenue heist that will add $1.5 to $2 trillion to the federal budget deficit. (Aren’t Republicans supposed to fear deficits the way vampires fear garlic?)
The tax bill was posed as job creator. But the notion that tax cuts create jobs is questionable. Three million jobs were lost after the Bush 41 tax cuts. Job growth following the Reagan tax cuts in the early 80s resulted from the U.S. climbing out of recession, not the effect of the cuts.
Do tax cuts spur corporations to hire? Business owners queried by the Atlanta Federal Reserve say no. Less than 10 percent said they would goose their hiring. Quoted in Forbes magazine, the billboard of America’s wealthiest, David Mendels, a former CEO of the software firm Brightcove, said that without additional customers to justify hiring, “[I]f we had a tax cut that led to higher profits . . . we would ‘pocket it’ for our investors.”
As scores of economists have written, the Trump/GOP cuts will reward large businesses and corporations, and the people who have the money to invest in them. But they will leave behind hardworking Iowans living from paycheck to paycheck; public-educated children whose schools will have to subsist on even less federal money; those of us without health insurance, who will see premiums skyrocket; and the rest of us by 2026, when the tax cuts for individuals — but not corporations — expire.
On the other hand, true and fair tax reform is necessary, to help the tens of millions who live from paycheck to paycheck. A provision of true and fair tax reform might lower the rate for Americans performing hard-to-fill jobs, and give them a tax credit for learning the skills to do those jobs. A provision of true and fair tax reform might give a tax credit to businesses who subsidized the time and money necessary for that training. A provision of true and fair tax reform might reward Americans who live a healthy lifestyle so the healthcare system wouldn’t be overtaxed. A provision of true and fair tax reform might instill a culture of shared sacrifice on all Americans.
What would we do with the revenue from true and fair tax reform? Repair and rebuild our roads and bridges, which creates millions of good-paying jobs. Put more money in Americans’ paychecks, which increases the number of customers necessary to spur hiring. Invest in plant and equipment in rural areas, to grow jobs and preserve communities. And invest in Americans so we can have the freedom to take advantage of the good-paying jobs in emerging industries.
The final talks to reconcile the Senate and House version of the tax giveaway will be the acid test for elected officials such as David Young: He has one more opportunity to listen to ordinary Americans . . . or admit he does not care about those whose lives he promised to improve.
Eddie J. Mauro, a Des Moines-area businessman, is a Democratic candidate for the United States Congress Third District House seat.
by Eddie Mauro