The Republican Tax Bill is a Moral Abomination

For the past 40 years, the financial and political elite of this country have rigged the tax code to redistribute wealth and income to some of the richest and most powerful people in this country. The result: we are moving rapidly toward an oligarchic form of society in which the top 1 percent is doing phenomenally well, the middle class continues to decline and 40 million Americans are living in poverty.

And it will probably not surprise you to learn that just as our tax code benefits the wealthiest people in this country, it also benefits some of the largest and most profitable corporations in the world with a myriad of tax breaks, deductions, credits and other loopholes. As a result, one out of five large profitable corporations today pays nothing in federal taxes.

Koch Brothers

The current Republican “tax cut” bill, paid for by the Koch brothers and other billionaire campaign contributors, continues the push to make the rich richer at the expense of everyone else. It would raise taxes on middle class families making $75,000 a year or less and would throw 13 million Americans off of health insurance. And it would do all of these things to provide permanent tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans and profitable corporations that ship American jobs to China while moving their American profits to the Cayman Islands.

Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid

But let’s be clear. This legislation goes well beyond taxes. Its ultimate goal is to radically transform American society and the role that government plays in the lives of the working families of our country. This legislation will increase the deficit by at least $1.5 trillion over ten years. Mark my words. If passed, the Republicans will then rediscover the “deficit crisis,” and push aggressively for massive cuts in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education – higher education in particular – nutrition, affordable housing and more. They will seek to undo every major piece of legislation passed in the last 80 years designed to help working families, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor.

This is the Republican plan. Huge tax breaks for the rich and powerful. Massive cuts to life and death programs for the middle class and working families of our country.

This is not moral. This is not what the American people want. This is not what our country and our pledge for “liberty and justice for all” is supposed to be about.

That is why I am going on the road this week to talk directly to working people in Kentucky, Ohio, and Pennsylvania about this disastrous piece of legislation. If we stand together – black, white, Latino, Asian American, Native American, male and female, young and old, gay and straight – we can defeat this horrific bill. But I need you to make your voice heard as well. We need to stand together. [Protestors are also rallying in Spokane, WA.]

Today in America, more than 40 million Americans, including 20 percent of all children, live in poverty. Many in extreme poverty. Almost 28 million Americans have no health insurance. Millions of bright kids can’t afford to go to college without facing a lifetime of debt. Seniors and disabled veterans are struggling to stay alive on inadequate Social Security checks.

Despite all of that pain, the greed of the billionaire class in this country knows no limits. No. We will not allow them to take away from those in need in order to give a trillion dollars in tax breaks to the very rich.

Here’s a radical idea for my colleagues in the Republican Party: instead of just listening to the rich and powerful few in this country, maybe just maybe Congress should listen to the majority of the American people who want a fair tax system.

Maybe just maybe corporate tax reform should start by preventing profitable companies from sheltering profits in tax haven countries like the Cayman Islands.

Here is something you may not know:

A 2008 Government Accountability Office report found that 83 of the Fortune 100 companies use at least one offshore tax scheme to lower their taxes. A 2016 study found that one of every five large, profitable corporations paid no federal income taxes at all in 2012.

The practice of stashing profits in places like the Cayman Islands has become so absurd that one single, five-story office building there is now the official legal “home” to more than 18,000 corporations! Our tax code has essentially legalized tax dodging for large corporations.

We must stop this bill. We must stop the Republicans from moving this country into an oligarchy.

And that starts with all of us standing up, fighting back and making our voices heard. Three weeks ago progressives from coast to coast ran for office at the local and state level – and they won. We have to continue that progress and build on that momentum.

Brothers and sisters. We must do exactly the opposite of what Trump is attempting to do. He wants to divide us up by the color of our skin, our gender, our religion, our sexual orientation or our country of origin. He wants us fighting with each other while Wall Street and the billionaire class laugh all the way to the bank.

Our job is to bring our people together around an agenda that creates an economy and government that works for all, not just the 1 percent. Defeating this terrible piece of legislation will be an important step forward.

This bill is a moral abomination. I hope you’ll add your name if you agree.

In solidarity,

Bernie Sanders

McMorris Wants to Kill the Affordable Care Act

(Letter-to-the-Editor)  I recently attended an afternoon meeting with Cathy McMorris Rodgers. The group was largely elderly, as it was three in the afternoon. She told us how bad Obamacare (Affordable Care Act)  was and after 40 times of trying to repeal it, she said now they are going to stop the law by defunding it.Surprisingly, some of the attendees seemed supportive of what she said.  I can only assume the group of supporters don’t know Cathy’s true beliefs and actions concerning health care and seniors.Cathy McMorris Rodgers supports sweeping cuts to  heath care, including Medicare.  She supports raising the Medicare age to 67 and wants to turn the Medicare program into a voucher system where seniors get stipends. Medicade would be turned into a block grant program. She also voted to allow health insurance companies to drop or raise the cost of our policies if we get sick and supported allowing insurance companies to deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

(Obamacare already prevents insurance companies from denying coverage to children or adults due to pre-existing conditions.) She also voted to make cuts to and privatize Social Security, giving Wall Street access to the money in our program.   It’s time we seniors turn up our hearing aids and put on our glasses to see and hear that this woman is definitely not supporting us!

Patricia Bates

Clarkston

.                                                                                                                Local activists went to meet Cathy McMorris-Rodgers and caught her lying about her votes on Medicare. McMorris Rodgers says she voted to save Medicare, but the facts show she voted for a budget that contained devastating cuts to Medicare.

(Update: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers was an advocate for and voted to enact the sequester.  The bill contained budget cuts to vital services including healthcare.  Among one of the stupidest budget cuts ever , it “slashed $86 million from family planning and reproductive health care for poor women”  and likely to result in thousands of unwanted pregnancies.  Republicans are still trying to role back access to birth control, despite the fact that birth control technology is safer and more effective than ever with fewer side effects.)

.                                                                                                                     The media and blogosphere has been focusing on how Mit Romney running mate Paul Ryan’s budget would end medicare as we know it. Good. People need to know the truth about Paul Ryan. However, they also need to know that most Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives voted for the Ryan budget including Cathy McMorris Rodgers. So did our own Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers.  Medicare would work just fine if it had more revenue going into the program.

Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers votes to end Medicare as we know it

Some local Spokane activists got Cathy McMorris-Rodgers on tape trying to deny her involvement in destroying Medicare.  Cathy McMorris-Rodgers is not a friend to the elderly.

Below is an email from Democracy for America that explains the national scene for Republicans such as Cathy McMorris-Rodgers.  Paul Ryan and his budget to destroy Medicare is not very popular among Americans.

Mitt Romney’s decision to name Paul Ryan as his VP has nationalized Ryan’s radical right-wing budget. Ryan’s plan to turn Medicare into a voucher program is front-page news across the country — and it’s killing House Republicans in their reelection campaigns.

Politico reports House Republicans are so panicked that John Boehner had to schedule a major conference call to calm them down.

So, what’s the Republican plan to counterattack? Lie about Democrats’ plans and try to convince the American public that Republicans are trying to “save” Medicare.

We can’t let them get away with that. They’re running scared and we need to deliver the knockout punch right now. We need to back up our Dean Dozen candidates — our 12 top-tier endorsed candidates — and deliver the resources they need to win.

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Ryan’s plan to voucherize Medicare was a huge liability for Republicans — even before Romney named him as VP. Need proof? Just check out these polling numbers we got back last week in four of our Dean Dozen candidates’ districts:

Question: If you were faced with the choice of two candidates — one who supported preserving Medicare and Social Security without any cuts, and one who advocated for transitioning to a privatized voucher system — for whom would you vote?

CA-10 – Voters would vote for the candidate who would preserve Medicare 67-15

CO-06 – Voters would vote for the candidate who would preserve Medicare 59-22

NH-01 – Voters would vote for the candidate who would preserve Medicare 64-18

PA-08 – Voters would vote for the candidate who would preserve Medicare 67-16

Now that Paul Ryan is on the ticket, the Republican plan to voucherize Medicare is a national news story and a huge political loser for House Republicans.

Simply put: Paul Ryan’s plan to turn Medicare into a voucher program puts the House in play.

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Thank you for all that you do.

-Michael

Michael Langenmayr, Political Director
Democracy for America

Stay tuned for more information on Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ efforts to undermine medicare and access to healthcare in general.

(Update: Cathy McMorris Rodgers also actively supported and voted for the sequester, which contained “automatic cuts”  to vital services and “slashed $86 million from family planning and reproductive health care for poor women.”  This was one of the stupidest budget cuts ever and likely to result in thousands of unwanted pregnancies.  Despite the fact that birth control technology has few side effects, Republicans are still trying to role back access to it.)