The country is ready for tax reform. It’s great news, then, that the House of Representatives passed its tax cut bill, and they did it on the same day the Senate Finance Committee passed its version. The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act is steadily making its way through Congress and will be a welcome relief to families, businesses, and workers, letting everyone keep more of their hard-earned money.
Now, as the full Senate prepares to consider the bill, Democrats in Congress vowing to oppose the bill should remember what they themselves once supported.
Just take Democrat leadership, for example. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said this August that his party wanted a plan that would ease the tax burden on the middle-class. He even said he would negotiate with Republicans to get that done. Last year, he was in favor of cutting the corporate tax rate to make American businesses competitive worldwide.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in May spoke in favor of reforms to create a fair tax system and grow the economy – and she specifically cautioned against ideological negotiation in the process. Last year she also highlighted the need for a lower corporate tax rate, and previously spoke in favor of repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax – part of the Republicans’ own tax plan.
Schumer and Pelosi are joined in hypocrisy by a slew of their Democrat colleagues: Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri has called for tax reform. So have Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bill Nelson of Florida, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin. Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan agreed this year, as did Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio.
In fact, Democrats were in favor of key provisions of the new tax cut package before there ever was a plan. They supported expanding the child tax credit. When former President Barack Obama proposed in 2012 slashing the corporate tax rate, they were on board. In 2010, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., wanted a repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax. Just last year, then-Democratic presidential primary candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., wanted it replaced with a simpler flat rate.
Early this year, Democrats said they would set partisanship aside to work on these much-needed reforms. Then, when President Trump and Republicans offered a framework to do just that, they reversed course and adopted a disingenuous narrative that paints the plan as a scheme to help the wealthy.
It’s anything but that.
The tax plan will cut individual tax rates for low- and middle-income Americans, meaning the average middle-class family will see relief of nearly $1,500 per year. It will roughly double the standard deduction, expand the zero tax bracket, and maintain a 10 percent bracket. It will effectively repeal Obamacare’s individual mandate tax and eliminate special-interest deductions, all while protecting deductions that encourage philanthropy and home ownership.
Key provisions of the Senate’s tax bill are bipartisan – or rather, nonpartisan. Notably, the bill will slash the corporate tax rate to 20 percent, marking the biggest reduction of this tax in our nation’s history. This will encourage American businesses to bring their jobs back to the United States and allow them to hire more workers, increase their employees’ paychecks, and invest in their communities. The National Federation of Independent Business, an advocacy group for small business owners, stands behind the bill, hailing its many benefits for small businesses.
All of these provisions are specifically meant to relieve tax burdens on the middle-class. That’s a goal that Democrats have repeatedly said they’d support.
Now, they’re nowhere to be found, showing Americans that they care more about playing politics than helping the middle-class. Republicans, meanwhile, are taking the reins, doing real work, and getting ready to finalize a bill for President Trump to sign.
We have one question for the Democrats: Will you help Congress keep its promise to the public?
Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) is chairwoman of the Republican National Committee.
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