Note to candidates: Taxing 1% must be paired with unrigging Trump’s tax law

(Image courtesy Tax March)

Last week, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin claimed that despite a forecasted $1 trillion deficit, Trump’s tax cuts would still “pay for themselves” in time.

We can now add his claims to a long list of fabrications Trump and his cronies continue to dish out about the disastrous 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Three years after becoming law, this measure continues to exacerbate our nation’s wealth inequality, gifting trillions of dollars in tax cuts to large corporations and the super-rich at the expense of everyday workers.

Paying for this disaster of a law isn’t the “simple math” Mnuchin claims it is. While the Trump administration remains hellbent on pulling the wool over the public’s eyes about the real consequences of this scam, we know the truth — these tax cuts will not pay for themselves. We will.

So, as Democratic presidential candidates are making their case to Nevadans this week, why haven’t they all called for a full repeal of this reckless law?

As it stands, every Democratic candidate is on board with raising taxes on America’s 1 percent — including one-percenters Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg. This is nothing to sneeze at. Over three short years, “tax the rich” has gone from a long-shot dream held by a few to the centerpiece of the nomination contest, finding itself as one of the top positions supported by voters across party lines.

However, taxing the rich must be paired with efforts to unrig our current tax code, which favors the 1 percent over working people and economic justice. While some candidates, like Amy Klobuchar and Joe Biden, have called for partial repeals of the Trump tax cuts, only a full revocation will pave the way forward to an economy that works for everyone — not just the ultra-wealthy and corporations.

Trump’s proposed budget for 2021 is more of an invoice to the American public for his disastrous tax cuts than a budget at all. Among other disturbing requests, President Trump is requesting $2 trillion of cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security — the very safety net that millions of Americans rely on.

Despite previous promises to safeguard these programs, this is not the first time Trump has betrayed his promise not to gut these programs. In his 2020 budget, he proposed cutting $1.5 trillion from Medicaid alone.

This is why it should come as no surprise that the Trump tax law carries the distinct honor of being one of the most unpopular pieces of legislation in modern history. The American people are not fools — we saw right through the constant lies of Trump and GOP lawmakers.

This plan will raise taxes on more than half of all American families, including 92 million middle-class households — at a time when many families report that they can’t pull together a few hundred dollars in an emergency — just to hand trillions of dollars of tax cuts to pharmaceutical companies like Eli Lilly — who paid nothing in federal income tax in 2018 — who continue to rob patients blind with the price-gouging of life-saving drugs.

Given that one of the primary functions of the tax code is to raise money for the government to provide services, missing funds due to massive tax cuts only end up adding to America’s debt. Republicans use ballooning deficits as an excuse to immediately send programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security to the chopping block as we are now witnessing.

This isn’t just bad policy, it threatens the common good of our nation.

Nevada’s poverty rate is 13 percent — this is higher than the national poverty rate of 12 percent. What’s more, the state ranks ninth in the nation when it comes to racial economic disparity. This is why we cannot afford laws like the Trump tax to govern this land. The people of this state, and of this nation, need a fighting chance to not only survive but to thrive.

In a few days, presidential hopefuls will debate in Las Vegas and share their visions for rebuilding our nation’s economy. This will be the ninth debate of the election cycle — it will also be the ninth opportunity for presidential candidates to boldly declare their commitment to unrigging our tax code by repealing this scam of a law. The everyday people who are being priced out of daily life by the rigged economy Trump’s tax cuts have fostered cannot afford to wait for the tenth debate.

Dana Bye
Dana Bye is the campaign director of Tax March.