Ever since Republican’s crammed their tax bill down Americans’ throats at the end of 2017, they have been looking for ways to pay for the $1.5-$2.1 trillion dollar deficit that their new law is projected to create. House Speaker Paul Ryan has his eye on cutting Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid. Trump plans to gut many programs Americans count on, not the least of which, locally, is a 15-year study led by U.S. Geological Survey that is meant to determine whether a one-million-acre area surrounding Grand Canyon National Park needs protection from new uranium mining claims. While Trump touts a plan to renew American’s infrastructure, his proposals seem dead-on-arrival in Congress because there is no money after the huge tax cuts.
Democrats have a solution: Take back the unnecessary 2/3 of the revenue that was given away to the wealthy and corporations as part of the 2017 Republican Tax Scam Bill. There are much more efficient ways to create jobs and improve paychecks — one of them is having a real plan to improve infrastructure. Democrats want a fair tax system for everyone, modern infrastructure, and more high-paying jobs. Here’s how:
- Reinstate a top income tax rate of 39.6%
- Restore the individual alternative minimum tax
- Reverse cuts to the estate and gift tax
- Raise the corporate income tax from 21 percent to 25 percent
- Close the Carried Interest Loophole — a Trump campaign promise that wasn’t fulfilled by the Republican tax law
- Keep the middle-class tax cuts
Then use that revenue to rebuild and modernize America’s infrastructure. This would create 15 million jobs. The spending would include:
- $140 Billion to Repair America’s Roads & Bridges
- $115 Billion to Modernize America’s Water & Sewer Systems
- $115 Billion to Repair & Improve Public Transportation
- $50 Billion to Modernize and Improve the Safety of America’s Rail Infrastructure
- $62 Billion for Neighborhood Revitalization, Lead Remediation, & Affordable Housing
- $50 Billion to Rebuild America’s Schools
- $30 Billion to Modernize America’s Ports & Waterways
- $40 Billion to Improve America’s Airports & Airspace
- $80 Billion to Bring Innovation to America’s Energy Grid & Promote Clean Energy
- $40 Billion to Provide Universal High-Speed Internet
- $15 Billion for Construction on America’s Public Lands
- $10 Billion for Tribal Infrastructure
- $10 Billion to Address the Construction Backlog at VA Healthcare Facilities
- $140 Billion to Ensure the Solvency of the Highway Trust Fund for the next 10 years
These are expenditures that will take America’s greatness to the next level. You can read the full details of the Democrats’ Jobs & Infrastructure Plan for American Workers here.
While Democrats have put forward this solution, Republicans continue to tout each small one-time bonus as evidence that their Tax Scam Bill is working. Here’s the truth:
- In January, companies gave one-time bonuses and pay raises to workers amounting to $30 billion. That’s dwarfed by the $218 billion (and counting) in dividends and stock buybacks that have been given to corporate shareholders.
- Tax cuts for corporations are permanent under the 2017 Republican tax law; tax cuts for the middle class expire.
- President Trump promised to close the carried-interest loophole whereby wealthy Wall Street speculators count earned income as capital gains to qualify for lower rates. The Republican Tax Scam Bill left this in place — and Trump happily signed the bill.
- “Trickle-down” doesn’t work. It’s never worked and now Republicans are trying to sell it again. But here’s the reality: