42 top economists were asked if the Trump tax plan would significantly grow the economy. 1 said yes.

Rebekah Entralgo

Rebekah Entralgo Reporter, ThinkProgress

Overhauling the tax code before Christmas would be a difficult task under “normal” conditions, yet Republicans in Congress are pledging to do just that with their tax bill.

There’s just one big problem: It is a supremely poor tax plan that doesn’t provide middle-class tax relief while also serving as a substantial handout to the wealthy.

A University of Chicago survey released Tuesday polled 42 of the nation’s leading economists about the Republican tax plan — and all but one said they do not agree with claims that the plan will grow the economy.

This survey is yet another piece of analysis that eviscerates a popular White House talking point that by cutting taxes for corporations, the GOP tax plan would create so much economic growth that the average American family would get a raise of about $4,000 dollars.

Earlier this week, analysis from the non-partisan Tax Policy Center found that, despite claims from White House officials like chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, the tax cuts will not pay for themselves through growth. In total, the House bill would yield around $169 billion in additional tax revenue, nowhere near enough to cover the roughly $1.5 trillion in revenue loss from a corporate tax cut.

This University of Chicago survey echoes another survey conducted by the institution in May. Back then, 35 out of 37 economists believed the Trump tax cuts wouldn’t pay for themselves; the other two didn’t understand the question.

Not only is the GOP tax plan unpopular among prominent economists, but the American public is also beginning to catch on. An ABC News-Washington poll from earlier in the month found that Americans oppose the tax plan by a 17 point margin, believing it only benefits the wealthy. This polling was conducted before the Senate Finance Committee announced it would include a repeal of the individual mandate — a provision of the Affordable Care Act that requires individuals be insured — to help pay for a corporate tax cut.

In addition to leaving 13 million Americans uninsured, repealing the individual mandate might also cost Republicans a few key votes in the Senate. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) was instrumental in ultimately voting against the multiple Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare and has stated the plan would harm middle class families.

“I have data that demonstrates for certain middle-income individuals and couples, who do not qualify for subsidies under the ACA… that the premium increase will outweigh the tax cut that they get,” Collins told reporters. “I suspected this, based on what I know about insurance markets, but now I have the actual data.”

Senate Republicans can only afford to lose two votes.

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Reposted from ThinkProgress

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work