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Another GOP Deficit Financed Tax Cut For The Wealthy Would Wreck The Nebraska State Budget

Events are moving rapidly in Washington, D.C. The House has already passed its so-called “tax reform” bill with the support of Nebraska’s three House members. The Senate plans a vote shortly after its undeserved Thanksgiving vacation.There have been no hearings on this legislation and the Democrats have been excluded from the negotiations. All of this legislation has been hatched in complete secrecy behind closed doors.

The House bill would shower 50% of the tax cuts on the top 1% and raise taxes on 47 million middle class Americans. It would also blow up the deficit and return us to the days of annual $1 trillion deficits. If that happens, the Republicans in D.C. will demand cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

The Senate bill is equally bad. The tax cuts for corporations are permanent and the middle class tax cuts are only temporary. Ultimately, millions of middle class Americans would pay more.

The Senate bill also repeals the individual mandate to fund tax cuts for the rich. Under this plan, 13 million Americans would lose their insurance coverage and we would all face much higher insurance premiums.

The GOP’s so-called “tax reform” bill would not only wreck the federal budget, it would also blow up the already very troubled Nebraska budget. Apparently, Nebraska’s tax laws are closely connected to the federal tax laws. Consequently, any tax cut on the federal level could cause even more revenue shortfalls here in Nebraska.

Since commodity prices began to decline in 2014, the Unicameral has faced a significant revenue shortage. Earlier this year, the Senators patched up a $1 billion revenue shortfall and will have to confront a $173 million deficit during the 2018 session. A federal tax cut would make this difficult job even harder.

Legislative Fiscal Office Director Michael Calvert recently testified about the GOP’s tax bills: “I’ve never had this kind of discussion before, but I think the risks are really, really significant because of the uncertainty.” The Open Sky Institute pointed out that when George W. Bush cut taxes in 2001 and 2003, the state lost $416 million in revenues.

Despite these projected deficits at both the state and federal level, Governor Pete Ricketts remains a steadfast supporter of tax cuts that favor the wealthy at both the state and federal level. A combination of these two tax cuts would further starve the University of Nebraska system of needed revenues and hurt the state’s economy. Moreover, more tax cuts would force further cuts for programs that impact Nebraska’s most vulnerable and powerless citizens.

Please call your members of Congress at 202–224–3121 and urge a NO vote to the GOP’s tax deform! Thanks.

I’m a trial lawyer, a Democratic activist and a sports fan.

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