The Top Reasons Why the Republican Tax Bill is Bad for Working People

By AFL-CIO Staff

Working people have forced the House GOP to stall the release of a bad and unpopular plan to slash taxes for the rich by cutting services and tax breaks for working families. America’s labor movement will fight every attempt by Donald Trump to give preference to millionaires and billionaires and hand working people the tab. Here are the top ways the Republican tax bill will hurt working people:

1. This bill is a job killer. The GOP tax bill would give companies a huge tax break for outsourcing. U.S. taxes on offshore profits would be eliminated, giving big corporations even more incentive to move jobs offshore.

2. Republicans are proposing to (partially) pay for tax cuts with drastic cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and education. The GOP budget includes $5 trillion in budget cuts, including $1.5 trillion in cuts to Medicaid and Medicare, an increase in the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67, and an end to Medicare’s guarantee of health coverage.

3. But the GOP tax bill still won't be paid for, so we can expect Republicans to demand more budget cuts that hurt working people in the future. The Republican budget allows for $1.5 trillion in tax cuts that are not paid for in the first decade, and these tax cuts are structured to cost even more in future decades. First the Wall Street millionaires throw themselves a party, then they stick the rest of us with the tab.

4. The GOP tax bill would increase taxes on many middle-class families, and most of its tax breaks would go to the top 1%. According to independent analysis of the previous version of the GOP tax plan, 30% of households making between $50,000 and $150,000 would pay more in taxes, while the richest 1% would walk away with 80% of the tax breaks. Republicans have made some adjustments to their tax bill, but it still is heavily weighted toward the top.

5. The GOP tax bill would punish states that make the kind of investments that create good jobs. Republicans are proposing to repeal the deduction for state and local income taxes, making it harder for states to raise enough money to invest in high-quality education, infrastructure and good jobs, and would lower property values.

6. The GOP tax bill would tax long-term care for seniors and people with disabilities. Eliminating the tax deduction for medical expenses would force many middle-class Americans who are chronically ill to pay thousands more in taxes each year and spend down their resources to qualify for Medicaid, and would prevent millions of Americans from deducting out-of-pocket medical or dental expenses from their taxes.

7. The GOP tax bill would kill construction jobs. Limiting the mortgage interest deduction at $500,000 would discourage construction of new houses.

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Reposted from the AFL-CIO

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From AFL-CIO

Union Matters

Freight can’t wait

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities.

A freight train hauling lumber and nylon manufacturing chemicals derailed, caught fire and caused a 108-year-old bridge to collapse in Tempe, Ariz., this week, in the second accident on the same bridge within a month.

The bridge was damaged after the first incident, according to Union Pacific railroad that owns the rail bridge, and re-opened two days later. 

The official cause of the derailments is still under investigation, but it remains clear that the failure to modernize and maintain America’s railroad infrastructure is dangerous. 

In 2019, 499 trains that derailed were found to have defective or broken track, roadbed or structures, according to the Federal Railroad Administration’s database of safety analysis.

While railroad workers’ unions have called for increased safety improvements, rail companies have also used technology and automation as an excuse to downsize their work forces.

For example, rail companies have implemented a cost-saving measure known as Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR), which has resulted in mass layoffs and shoddy safety protocols. 

Though privately-owned railroads have spent significantly to upgrade large, Class I trains, regional Class II trains and local, short-line Class III trains that carry important goods for farmers and businesses still rely on state and local funds for improvements. 

But cash-strapped states struggle to adequately inspect new technologies and fund safety improvements, and repairing or replacing the aging track and rail bridges will require significant public investment.

A true infrastructure commitment will not only strengthen the country’s railroad networks and increase U.S. global economic competitiveness. It will also create millions of family-sustaining jobs needed to inspect, repair and manufacture new parts for mass transit systems, all while helping to prevent future disasters.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work