12.19.17 Remarks on the GOP Tax Bill
I thank the gentlelady. We do need tax reform. We need tax reform that we all described in the beginning as something that would help the middle class, that would simplify taxes, and that would be revenue neutral. This bill, sometimes described by its authors as doing those things, accomplishes none of those things. First of all, the middle class: wages have been stagnant, the jobs people are getting aren’t paying the bills, and we know the biggest challenge we face is increasing investment, increasing wages, and increasing security. There are some benefits in the middle class. But let’s get real: those benefits are tiny and they’re temporary. You’re a Vermont family—if you’re lucky, we get hit with the SALT deduction loss—you might make a couple hundred bucks. But at what price? Once these benefits expire, 83% of the benefits of the individual tax break go to the top one percent. At what price? Two trillion dollars added to the deficit. And let me tell you this: Vermont families, working families, they’d like a tax cut, but not one that their children and grandchildren are going to have to pay. That is unconscionable. What about these corporate tax cuts? We want simplification so we’re competitive. There’s a 40% reduction for multinational corporations. But in this bill, is there any corresponding requirement that they start reinvesting in America? Exactly the opposite. There is a lower tax rate for companies that invest abroad and send jobs abroad, rather than invest at home. That’s outrageous. And what happens because of this deficit? Medicare is going to be cut directly as a result of this tax bill. And the infrastructure plan we all want is evaporating. I yield back. Defeat this rule. Defeat this bill.