Congressmen slam new tax plan

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes
U.S. Rep. Jim Himes

Connecticut congressional leaders have slammed the recently passed tax reform bill, which was approved last week primarily along party lines.

U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, and Congressman Jim Himes, all Democrats, voted against the bill, which they claim will benefit the wealthy and hurt the middle class and the poor.

After the Senate vote, Blumenthal called the tax bill “an abomination,” characterizing it as more about tax cuts than actual tax reform.

“This one betrays basic American values. It funds burgeoning tax breaks for the wealthiest one percent — who receive 83% of the bill’s benefits — by burdening our children with trillions in debt. Instead of helping families buy their first home, this bill gives breaks to millionaires purchasing their third mansion.”

He said the bill will not help American wage-earning workers. “This bill benefits real estate tycoons and foreign shareholders. Instead of encouraging college student aid, this bill taxes higher education endowments used for scholarship funds and rewards the heirs of the wealthiest with no estate tax,” he said.

“This isn’t tax reform, it’s a giveaway to the rich and powerful,” said Murphy. He said the bill will give massive tax breaks to large corporations and the rich, and will raise taxes on many working families while repealing major components of the Affordable Care Act.

“The plan gives mind-blowing, massive tax cuts to the wealthy, and throws crumbs at working people while quietly doubling everybody’s health insurance premiums over the next seven years,” Murphy said.

Himes said the bill will bring the national debt to staggering heights and will hurt those who need health insurance.

“It will add $1.5 trillion to the national debt. It will lead to 13 million Americans losing their health insurance. It very disproportionately benefits the wealthiest Americans and large corporations as opposed to the middle class, and the modest benefits that Americans may see will mostly phase out in coming years,” he said.

According to the Washington Post, financial experts say President Trump stands to save millions of dollars under the new tax measure through a lower top tax rate, lucrative deductions for top-earning households, and a tax deduction that helps many owners of high-value commercial real estate, the industry where Trump first made his fortune.

The Post said Trump’s financial gains from the new tax law are in sharp contrast to his campaign rhetoric, when he said he would be a “big loser” if the bill passed.

Trump signed the tax bill into law on Friday, Dec. 22.