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Maine Voices: Tax bill serves wealthy at a cost to the rest of us

It also wasn’t written for those of us with children — the moms of Maine and of America — who urgently need ... our economy or the moms of America — it’s for Wall Street executives and real estate moguls. It will hurt the rest of us and hurt ...

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The legislation now under consideration was not written for most Mainers By Cathy Walsh and Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner Share Comment Read Article Sometimes a catastrophe takes you by surpriseAt other times you can see it comingThe tax plan our U.Ssenators are taking up this week, after their Thanksgiving break, is the latterDespite the deception and outright lies coming out of Washington, D.C., anyone who is paying attention can see that this tax plan, which was written by and for billionaires, millionaires and the wealthiest corporations, is a catastrophe in the makingIt gives huge tax breaks to those who need it least while doing great damage to our economy and to working families — to people like us. Congress has tried, time and again this year, to take away our health care — and the people of Maine have stood strongMaine’s own U.SSenSusan Collins played a pivotal role in protecting our careAnd in Maine, we just had a referendum on Medicaid expansion where voters said, loud and clear, that they want to expand health coverage, not take it awayBut the U.SSenate Republican tax proposal does the oppositeIt includes a provision to gut the Affordable Care Act that would leave 13 million Americans without health insurance and raise premiums for those of us who buy our insurance in the individual marketplace. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., right, listen as President Trump speaks during a meeting with Congressional leaders and administration officials on tax reformA new CBO scoring of the bill shows it will hurt poor Americans more than previously believedAssociated Press/Evan Vucci Search photos available for purchase: Photo Store ? When Arabica Coffee opened in 1995, we provided health insurance for our employeesThe days when we could afford to do that are long goneToday, we all — owners and employees, both – have to fend for ourselves in the health insurance marketplaceSo gutting the ACA, raising premiums and destabilizing the health insurance marketplace that we rely on hits very close to homeThis tax plan wasn’t written for us. It also wasn’t written for those of us with children — the moms of Maine and of America — who urgently need quality, affordable child care and a way to put our kids through collegeThe U.SSenate tax proposal includes a pathetically weak child tax credit that isn’t even refundable, meaning that those struggling to make ends meet lose out the mostThe tax plan passed by the U.SHouse of Representatives — and still very much on the table if the Senate bill gets the votes to move forward — kills the student loan interest exemption, pushing higher education out of reach for many working familiesThis tax plan wasn’t written to help us. How do we know? Because it permanently lowers the corporate tax rate and doubles the estate tax threshold, so individuals in wealthy families pay no taxes on the first $11 million they inherit — and couples pay no taxes on the first $22 millionIt’s pretty clear who this bill was written for. It certainly wasn’t written for those of us who rely on — or may someday rely on — government servicesThis bill adds at least $1.5 trillion to the federal deficit by cutting taxes for the richest individuals and corporationsIf it takes effect, very soon there simply won’t be enough money to sustain the programs that boost our health care, nutrition, education and economyIf Congress passes this tax plan, then job training, food stamps, Head Start, disaster relief, Medicaid and even Medicare and Social Security will soon be on the chopping block because the federal deficit will explode. This isn’t what we want to be thinking about this holiday seasonWe want to be able to trust all our elected representatives and to believe that each and every one of them has our best interests at heartBut the truth is plain to see: This tax bill won’t help small businesses, working families, our economy or the moms of America — it’s for Wall Street executives and real estate mogulsIt will hurt the rest of us and hurt our economy while creating a legacy of debt our children will be forced to pay off. This tax plan is a long con — one that will devastate our country for years to comeEvery U.Ssenator who cares about her or his constituents must vote “no.” Cathy Walsh of Portland has owned and run Arabica Coffee for 22 yearsKristin Rowe-Finkbeiner is executive director of MomsRising, an advocacy group with a million members nationwide and 8,000 in Maine. Share Read or Post Comments Send questions/comments to the editors Want the news vital to Maine? 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