Fighting Back: “Republicans are giving a raw deal to hard working families across America.”

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Congressman Bill Pascrell of New Jersey.

(Congressman Bill Pascrell of New Jersey, a Member of the House Ways and Means Committee, delivered the Weekly Democratic Address. In this week’s address, Pascrell called out the GOP tax scam for what it is: a disastrous law that raises taxes on millions of middle class families, while handing massive tax breaks to corporations and the richest few. )

“Republicans didn’t write their bill for the middle-class. The middle class was the furthest thing from their minds. They wrote their tax bill for their donor class. Then they shoved it down our throats in hopes no one would read the fine print.

“Let’s talk about the fine print.

“The Republican tax scam cost more than $2 trillion. That’s trillion with a ‘T.’ Where will that money go? I’m going to tell you.

“About $1.6 trillion of that money will go straight to reward corporations and the top One Percent. Can you think of a group less in need of tax relief?

“I’m all for growing wealth. But I’m not for gaming the system in the name of greed.

“And what are these big corporations doing with their payouts from the Republicans? I’m going to tell you, again.

“They’re putting it right in their pockets. They’re giving themselves sweet bonuses. They’re lavishing buybacks on their shareholders. […]

“The Republicans’ only major legislation passed under this administration is a corruption of our democracy done at the behest of their donors.

“The Republicans are giving a raw deal to hard working families in New Jersey and across America. You deserve a better one – A Better Deal: with Better Jobs, Better Wages and a Better Future for everyone.”

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Transcript: Congressman Bill Pascrell Delivers Weekly Democratic Address

“Hi, I’m Congressman Bill Pascrell of Paterson, New Jersey. I grew up in a working-class, immigrant community, a place where people made things with their hands for a living.

“I still live in Paterson. I’m proud of my city. And the working people of my community are always at the top of mind here in Congress.

“With their mean-spirited policies, congressional Republicans have declared war on Paterson and cities across America like it. The GOP tax scam they just jammed into law is Exhibit A of their malfeasance.

“Republicans have gone into overdrive claiming that their disastrous new tax law will be a boon for middle-class Americans. That’s a lie.

“Republicans didn’t write their bill for the middle-class. The middle class was the furthest thing from their minds. They wrote their tax bill for their donor class. Then they shoved it down our throats in hopes no one would read the fine print.

“Let’s talk about the fine print.

“The Republican tax scam cost more than $2 trillion. That’s trillion with a ‘T.’ Where will that money go? I’m going to tell you.

“About $1.6 trillion of that money will go straight to reward corporations and the top One Percent. Can you think of a group less in need of tax relief?

“I’m all for growing wealth. But I’m not for gaming the system in the name of greed.

“And what are these big corporations doing with their payouts from the Republicans? I’m going to tell you, again.

“They’re putting it right in their pockets. They’re giving themselves sweet bonuses. They’re lavishing buybacks on their shareholders.

“One estimate found that the Republican tax scam will give those who make more than $1 million an annual payout of $70,000. That’s more than the entire yearly income of families in the middle-class in this country.

“If you eat at a nice restaurant you have to pick up the tab. So who’s going to pay for those millionaires’ bonuses? You are!

“For $2 trillion, we could do so much. We could rebuild our decaying airports. We could fix our crumbling bridges and roads.

“Our outdated roads are of enormous interest to me.

“Right now it can take 45 minutes to go the five miles from Secaucus, New Jersey in my district, across the river to Manhattan. We’ve been fighting to build a new rail tunnel to ease the traffic nightmare. But Republicans are now saying there’s no money for it and that my constituents should go pound sand.

“The money lost will also hit you right square in the wallet. The Republican tax scam took away many deductions and credits American families enjoy. In my home state of New Jersey, middle class taxpayers will see a tax increase because of this change. In total, 86 million American households will see a tax increase.

“That’s not acceptable.

“The elimination of these deductions will also squeeze communities from coast to coast to make savage cuts to basic services. I’m talking about paying teachers and firefighters, promoting public safety, and paving roads.

“We all spent the last week watching the courageous teacher’s strike in West Virginia. In other states, some schools have cut their classes or slashed teacher compensation to the bone. With the Republican tax scam, we can now expect similar degradations.

“These terrible results are the fruit of decades of Republican policy that favors plutocrats over the middle-class. Republicans are cannibalizing America to feed their corporate cronies.

“What would possess Republicans to wreak all of this havoc? Well, several of my colleagues have openly admitted it: their donors demanded it.

“I’m talking about men like Charles and David Koch. Koch Industries will save more than $1 billion in income taxes each year. The Koch brothers rank among the ten richest people in the world. Koch Industries is the second largest corporation in America. This is who Republicans wrote their tax scam for. Think on that.

“So let’s take it all together.

“The Republicans’ only major legislation passed under this administration is a corruption of our democracy done at the behest of their donors.

“The Republican tax scam is a slap in the face to our country’s urgent needs and the middle-class.

“There’s no putting lipstick on this pig.

“The Republicans are giving a raw deal to hard working families in New Jersey and across America. You deserve a better one – A Better Deal: with Better Jobs, Better Wages and a Better Future for everyone.”

Any bolding has been added.

~

Leader Nancy Pelosi’s weekly news conference on Thursday:

Transcript: Transcript of Pelosi Press Conference

Good morning. Thank you for accommodating the House schedule. We had votes until now. It’s 11 o’clock on Thursday and we’re gone for the week. And when we come back next week, we’ll be doing the bidding of the Republican leadership’s Wall Street friends at the expense of the American taxpayer and consumer protections. This is March madness. It’s March madness. As I’ve said before, there’s a dark cloud hanging over the Capitol, and it’s called the GOP tax scam.

The GOP tax scam is adding over $2 trillion to the national debt. Eighty-three percent of the benefits go to the top 1 percent. Eighty-six million middle class families will be paying more taxes under the provisions of this bill. A $1.5 trillion tax [rate] break for corporations and further benefits to them to create jobs overseas at the expense of creating jobs in the U.S. A Morgan Stanley analyst estimated that 43 percent of the corporate tax savings would go to buybacks and dividends and nearly 19 percent would help pay for mergers and acquisitions. Just 13 percent would go to bonuses and raises.

As USA Today’s editorial board said, this is a tiny portion of the windfall, and the fact that they gave out one time bonuses rather than permanent raises was telling. Even Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein called the bonuses symbolic and not a significant thing. Certainly, we love when people get a bonus and if they get a raise. But if it’s so small in comparison. If the choice was made for corporate America and the top 1 percent in our society at the expense of working families, something is wrong with this picture.

The GOP tax scam is padding the pockets of GOP donors, executives, and big corporations at the expense of everyone else. For example, for instance, an Axios analysis this week found that the health care companies would receive a windfall of tens of billions of dollars from the GOP tax scam. But most of the money is going to share buybacks, dividends, acquisitions and paying down debt, with just a sliver of one time employee bonuses, research and internal investments.

The tax scam will save health care companies billions, but not patients. And as the Trump budget shows, after adding $2 trillion to the debt, Republicans plan $2 trillion worth of cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

Democrats will continue to expose the truth all over the country. We’re having tax scam, the Tax March folks have just been magnificent participants, just putting forth the facts. What does this mean to your state, in Arizona, in Texas, in Illinois, in Florida, in New York, in Massachusetts, in California? Did I say California more than once? It’s a big state. The list goes on and on.

We will speak out against the GOP’s tax scam, massive giveaways to corporations and the wealthy and the consequences for workers, seniors and families. The Democrats want real bipartisan reform. People say to me, ‘Well, if you win, what would you do?’ And we said, ‘What we would do is what we’ve said the Republicans should do.’

We would have bipartisan, open hearings on how we go forward. What’s the appropriate level of a corporate tax cut? How do we first and foremost empower financially the middle class and make that permanent, not treat them as second class people in our country? Because we said for corporations it’s a permanent tax cut, for people it’s not permanent. And, again, it would be unifying. Unifying. It would be, bipartisan, open, transparent, and unifying as we go forward to strengthen middle class tax cuts and to do so in a way that creates good paying jobs, promotes growth and reduces the deficit.

This is quite a week. There’s all kinds of things going on. As you know, Tuesday was the first day of the elections. It’s amazing. There had been early voting in Texas and some in Illinois, but Tuesday was a primary election in Texas. And I bring that up because we face one of the greatest threats to our electoral system ever, and that’s the Russian meddling in our elections. Yet the U.S. Government is totally unprepared for the attacks that we know are coming.

Last week, NSA Director Rogers testified that the Russian interference is likely to continue and that he has not ‘been granted any… additional authorities, capacities or capabilities’ by President Trump to respond to Russia’s attacks and prevent further foreign meddling. He said, ‘What we’ve done hasn’t been enough,’ NSA Director Rogers.

House Republicans continue to obstruct, cover up and interfere with investigations into the Trump-Russia scandal. Why does the GOP put the President ahead of our national security?

As you know, the Mueller investigation is its own investigation. What I’m talking about here is honoring our oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution. Central to the Constitution is our democracy with the right to vote. And people should know that when they vote their vote will be counted as cast and that there shouldn’t be any Russian intervention.

It’s been 14 months. It was January 6 of last year that the intelligence community presented its report that the Russians had disrupted our elections. And 14 months later, you see what NSA Director Rogers has said about it.

I was very pleased that some of you were here when our Election Security Task Force released a blueprint to protect our democracy. House Democrats introduced H.R. 5011, the Election Security Act, to appropriate funds to secure our elections. I am very proud of the work of Bennie Thompson, Ranking Member Thompson and Ranking Member Brady of the House Administration Committee, Ranking Member Thompson of the Homeland Security Committee, for the work that was done and coming up with this.

House and Senate Democrats sent a letter to Speaker Ryan and Leader McConnell urging them to consider additional funding to protect our elections from Putin’s meddling, but they ignored it. Fourteen months later, House and Senate, no hearings, no anything.

Many of you were here when we had the committees of jurisdiction leadership come in and say what they had asked their chairmen to do, but nothing has happened. Why? You have to ask yourself. Why would they not want to protect the integrity of our elections? That’s so fundamental. Everybody cares about that.

Well, in any case, on to – I’ve called on the Administration of both parties – oh, I wanted to just say another thing here that is happening this week.

This week we had the 6th, being the 14 months since and the first day of the new elections and why we should have election security. This week on March 5th marked the end of the timeframe that the President gave to produce a bill that protects Dreamers. That was September 5th he issued his rescission of the Obama DACA and other provisions.

At the time, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops said that it was reprehensible. It’s still reprehensible. Six months later, we do not have a bill.

I’m calling on the Republicans in Congress to work in a bipartisan way. There is bipartisan support. The Hurd bill in the House, bipartisan and addresses the issue.

In the Senate, there was a bipartisan bill which I think would have gotten 60 votes had the Administration not interfered at the end. The President’s proposal didn’t even get 40 votes, much less 60, and the bipartisan Durbin-Graham bill got 54, came closer to the 60. So there’s that.

And then we have the gun issue. Next week, in less than a – well, in a week from now will be the walkout across the country demanding gun violence prevention initiatives. Kids, young people, will be here, back again in larger numbers on March 24th to show their support, advocacy, knowledge, eloquence, values about protecting people from gun violence.

So this March madness that we see here with ignoring all of this and putting bills on the floor that only give more opportunity for financial service institutions to take us right back to where we were in September of 2008.

So why are we going home at 11 o’clock on Thursday afternoon, not coming back until next Tuesday, when we have a deadline of the 23rd of March to pass the omnibus bill and to do so in a way that, again, can be unifying? Have a debate that is transparent, that has support that is bipartisan.

Well, we’ll see what the Speaker wants to do.

Any questions?

Press questioning followed (see transcript)

~

Fleeting Benefits From #GOPTaxScam Could Have Massive Consequences For Americans

Three months following the passage of the GOP Tax Scam, workers across the country are underwhelmed with the little uptick in their paychecks.

Despite repeated promises from Republicans that the American people will love their tax bill’s ‘benefits,’ many Americans are actually worried (and rightfully so) that the impact of the GOP Tax Scam will mean paying more in taxes in the future.

CNN: For most workers, the tax cut windfall will disappear

Unfortunately, the windfall for most workers will be fleeting … In other words, most of the benefit to workers will be short-lived.

President Trump pointed to one-time bonus payments during his State of the Union address as evidence that the tax cuts are trickling down to workers.

Still, the biggest winners from the tax law so far are companies and shareholders.

New York Times: Blue-Collar Trump Voters Are Shrugging at Their Tax Cuts

The result has hardly been a windfall, economically or politically.

Some are convinced that what the tax cut has given them upfront will ultimately fade.

“[Trump]’s pulling out jazz hands and shiny stuff up front and will screw us on the back end,” said Brian Barkalow, a worker at Requarth Lumber, where the Wright Brothers once bought wood for their planes.

Others questioned whether getting more money now would mean paying more later.

CNBC: Save now, pay later: You may owe more taxes in 2019

You may end up owing Uncle Sam more money in 2019.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act went into effect at the beginning of the year, touting a reduction in federal income rates across the board.

If too few taxes are withheld from your pay in 2018, you could owe the IRS in 2019.

The GOP Tax Scam’s meager, temporary benefits for the middle class evaporate in a few years, and the scam ultimately raises taxes on 86 million middle class American families.

The American people can’t be fooled. With their tax bill, President Trump and Republicans in Congress passed a massive giveaway for their rich donors and corporations – putting the wealthy ahead of everyone else.

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  1 comment for “Fighting Back: “Republicans are giving a raw deal to hard working families across America.”

  1. JanF
    March 10, 2018 at 7:48 am

    From Nancy Pelosi’s newsroom …

    American People Aren’t Fooled by the #GOPTaxScam

    The American people aren’t fools. They know a scam when they see one.

    A new Gallup poll reveals the GOP tax scam remains overwhelmingly unpopular three months after passage with an approval rating of just 39%. Even worse, Morning Consult/POLITICO found a mere 36% approve of the Republican tax bill.

    And the ‘benefits’ that were supposed to kick in last month? The New York Times reported that most middle class Americans actually see the GOP Tax Scam as Trump ‘pulling out jazz hands and shiny stuff up front to screw [them] on the back end’:

    “I have seen a little uptick in my paycheck, about what I expected, about 30 bucks,” said Mr. Kazee, who voted twice for President Barack Obama before backing Mr. Trump in the 2016 election. “It felt to me about like where things were 15 years ago.”

    His underwhelmed reaction was not what Republicans had in mind.

    But the result has hardly been a windfall, economically or politically … And some are convinced that what the tax cut has given them upfront will ultimately fade.

    “He’s pulling out jazz hands and shiny stuff up front and will screw us on the back end,” said Brian Barkalow, a worker at Requarth Lumber, where the Wright Brothers once bought wood for their planes.

    Several said they were most concerned about the rising cost of health care, and others questioned whether getting more money now would mean paying more later.

    As Republicans continue promoting their tax scam that raises taxes on 86 million middle class American families and hands massive giveaways to corporations and the richest few, Democrats are listening to hard-working families across America and continue the fight for real, bipartisan tax reform that puts the middle class first.

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