Pingree Will Vote Against Republican Tax Plan
PORTLAND, MAINE—A cancer survivor, a school teacher, a recent college graduate and several others told Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) how the Republican tax plan would harm them during a roundtable she held today. At the event, Pingree announced that she would vote against the plan, which is expected to come for a vote in the House this week.
“I think it will come as no surprise that I am opposed to the Republican bill and plan to vote no on it this week. There are a variety of reasons I am frustrated with this bill. Basically, it’s going to be a giveaway to corporations and some of the wealthiest people in the country,” Pingree said at the event. “They’re dropping the corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent, a $5 trillion benefit to some of the wealthiest people in the country. They’re eliminating $3 trillion in tax cuts. And then they’ll be adding $1 to $2 trillion to the deficit. That means they’re going to come to us in no time and say that now we don’t have enough money for Medicare or Medicaid.”
At the event, Sarah Austin, a policy analyst at the Maine Center for Economic Policy, offered an analysis of how the plan would impact real Mainers.
“Something Republicans have been saying is that this bill is about is the middle class. When you look at the data, there’s actually no way that is possible,” Austin said. “We’re looking at a tax proposal where the top 1 percent get half of the benefit by 2027. Across the board, foreign investors will get more in tax breaks than the bottom 60 percent of Americans by income. So this is not America first, not for the middle class. It’s structured in ways that are going to harm real people.”
Pingree then heard from several Mainers about tax deductions that are eliminated or reduced in the Republican plan.
- Jonathan Brown, a 2016 college grad who will use the student loan interest deduction in this tax year.
- Sue Clifford, a breast cancer survivor from Freeport has relied on the medical expense deduction.
- Jodie Hall, a local advocate for people with disabilities spoke to the medical expense deduction.
- Sally Reagan, a teacher at Portland High School spoke about a deduction for the many classroom supplies she purchases out of pocket for her students.
- Barbara Berry, a representative from the Maine Realtor Association discussed the mortgage deduction.
- Nancy Smith, a representative from GrowSmart Maine discussed the Historic and Low-Income Housing tax deductions.
- Bob Wellington, a representative from Agri-Mark Dairy Cooperative who discussed the Section 199 Waiver for agriculture cooperatives in Maine.
Under the Republican tax plan, millions of middle-class families — particularly those with children — would see an immediate tax increase, averaging about $2,000. By 2026, almost half of middle-class families would suffer a tax hike. In fact, a recent Tax Policy Center report found 38 million middle class households would face a tax hike under the Republican tax plan.
The proposed tax plan that may be voted on as early as Wednesday would harm middle-class families by:
- Eliminating Medical Expense Deduction – destroying a key deduction claimed by nearly 9 million American households, which helps families with children with disabilities, long-term care needs, a need for expensive fertility treatments, and many others.
- Dismantling the State and Local Tax Deduction – imposing an unfair double tax on middle class families, driving down home values, and endangering local governments’ ability to fund law enforcement, schools and health services.
- Eliminating Student Loan Interest Deduction & Lifetime Learning Credits – destroying a key deduction for young graduates and workers getting the job training they need to succeed in the 21st century economy, while preserving special giveaways for the wealthiest.
- Imposing New Limits on Mortgage Interest Deduction – impacting the dream of homeownership in Maine.
- No longer allowing teachers to deduct classroom school supplies, for which they spend $500 out of pocket on average.