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

An Invitation to Sunny Miami. What Could Be Bad?

Sam Pizzigati

Sam Pizzigati Editor, Too Much online magazine

If a billionaire “invites” you somewhere, you’d better go. Or be prepared to suffer the consequences. This past May, hedge fund kingpin Carl Icahn announced in a letter to his New York-based staff of about 50 that he would be moving his business operations to Florida. But the 83-year-old Icahn assured his staffers they had no reason to worry: “My employees have always been very important to the company, so I’d like to invite you all to join me in Miami.” Those who go south, his letter added, would get a $50,000 relocation benefit “once you have established your permanent residence in Florida.” Those who stay put, the letter continued, can file for state unemployment benefits, a $450 weekly maximum that “you can receive for a total of 26 weeks.” What about severance from Icahn Enterprises? The New York Post reported last week that the two dozen employees who have chosen not to uproot their families and follow Icahn to Florida “will be let go without any severance” when the billionaire shutters his New York offices this coming March. Bloomberg currently puts Carl Icahn’s net worth at $20.5 billion.

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Health Care Should Not Be A Bargaining Weapon

Health Care Should Not Be A Bargaining Weapon