Top Democrats Speak Out Against GOP Tax ‘Abomination’

Republicans unveiled their tax legislation on Thursday, allowing the public to see every detail of the major overhaul.

Officially titled the “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” the comprehensive measure will greatly simplify the tax code for all Americans and lower rates for the majority of middle class Americans.

Major policy changes include $1.51 trillion in tax cuts over a decade and a reduction in the number of income tax brackets from seven to four, as well as numerous tax deduction changes.

The full text of the bill can be seen below.

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — Full Text by WJ Editorial Staff on Scribd

The bill also calls for lowering the corporate interest rate — which is currently one of the highest in the industrialized world — down to 20 percent.

While Republicans are hailing the legislation as a major win for the country, Democrats do not feel the same way.

Liberal organizers and Democrat lawmakers congregated outside the Capitol building on Wednesday afternoon, the day the tax bill was originally supposed to be introduced in Congress, to hold a protest over the measure.

The litany of speakers included numerous congressional Democrats such as Senate Minority Leader Senate Chuck Schumer, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders and many others.

“This is tax reform for the Koch brothers and the other billionaires in this country. This is a disaster for the working families of America. If these guys do what they say they wanna do, will include a trillion dollar cut to Medicaid,” Sanders bemoaned to the crowd, repeating what has become a frequent Democrat attack line about Charles and David Koch, two major GOP donors.

The democratic socialist from Vermont accused the current bill of serving only the interests of wealthy Americans, and claimed it would siphon money away from popular government programs.

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Taking the podium not long after Sanders was Pelosi, who addressed the protesters for only a brief amount of time compared to other speakers.

“It is really a moment of truth for America. We cannot afford these tax breaks. We must inform the public of what is happening because when they tell you, ‘Oh these tax breaks are going to pay for themselves’ — it is not true. It is nonsense. It is BS,” the California Democrat emphatically claimed.

Perhaps the worst condemnation came from Schumer, who referred to the bill as an “abomination.”

“This bill is the greatest abomination that I have seen in all my years in the United States Senate. It will — we will regret this bill, Americans will regret this bill for a decade because of what it does,” the New York Democrat warned.

Other speakers included Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, California Rep. Ted Lieu and others.

The protest was the result of coordination by several progressive groups. like the Center for American Progress, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Americans for Tax Fairness.

Their biggest disagreement over the GOP tax bill is over the scaling back of state and local tax deductions, otherwise known as SALT deductions.

SALT deductions allow individuals who suffer from extremely high state and local tax rates to shave off their payments by way of smaller federal tax payments. These deductions are enjoyed by taxpayers who live in high-tax states such as California, Massachusetts, New York and other, typically Democrat-led states.

SALT deductions take the burden off taxpayers who live in high-tax states, but essentially force Americans living in low-tax states to subsidize their federal tax burdens.

While the GOP bill plans to lower tax rates for most Americans, the measure will mostly eliminate these SALT deductions.

The plan has left many California and New York lawmakers, including some Republicans, tepid over the legislation.

With a slim majority in the Senate and a razor thin resolution vote last week in the House, the GOP can only afford few defections. However, congressional Republicans will try to poach a few Democratic votes.

Jason Hopkins is The Western Journal’s Washington, D.C., correspondent.

This post was last modified on March 16, 2018, 9:43 am