As I’ve discussed here before, the all GOP Nebraska Congressional delegation has failed the people of Nebraska since the pandemic hit the U.S. and the economy collapsed. As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Ben Sasse was briefed sometime in January about the threat posed by the corona virus pandemic and did nothing to warn or prepare Nebraskans. Instead, his top priorities early this year were a phony abortion messaging bill and his re-election campaign.
Shortly after the economy went into a deep recession, Sasse continued to let down his constituents. Sasse pushed hard for an all corporate bailout bill that failed to pass. Subsequently, Sasse held up the passage of a crucial stimulus bill because it provided for enhanced unemployment compensation benefits. After that bill passed, Sasse lobbied the Department of Labor behind the scenes to undermine the bill and limit the payouts to newly unemployed workers.
At the end of the day, all of the members of the Nebraska Congressional delegation did vote to approve $3 trillion in stimulus. However, our Congressional delegation failed to get any stimulus dollars for the cities of Omaha and Lincoln even though they are facing huge revenue shortfalls. This was an abject failure by our entire Congressional delegation — they couldn’t get one nickel of relief funds for Nebraska’s most populous metropolitan areas from a president of their own party.
Our Congressional delegation didn’t only abandon Omaha and Lincoln, they also cost the state of Nebraska $250 million in tax revenues over the next three years. This $250 million hit is in addition to the significant revenue losses caused by the Trump/GOP recession.
Apparently, Nebraska’s revenues are negatively impacted because the state has built its income tax system around the federal system. The various tax cuts in the stimulus bills caused tax cuts at the state level in Nebraska. Approximately 92% of Nebraska’s revenue losses were caused by corporate tax cuts in the stimulus bills. In other words, we’re losing money due to the corporate bailouts.
Renee Fry, executive director of the Open Sky Policy Institute, said the tax cuts at the federal level would make Nebraska’s upcoming fiscal year “even uglier and make it more difficult to craft a state budget for future years.” This massive loss of tax revenues caused by the incompetence of the Trump Administration and our Congressional representatives will make property tax relief virtually impossible. Perhaps it’s time for Nebraska’s farmers to reconsider their political allegiances.
This failure by our Congressional delegation is inexplicable given the fact that Deb Fischer is on Mitch McConnell’s leadership team. Where was Deb? Moreover, Fischer and Adrian Smith began their political careers in the Unicameral. They should have been aware of how Nebraska’s tax system is connected to the federal one.
It is now past time to repeal and replace Ben Sasse, Jeff Fortenberry, Don Bacon and Adrian Smith. I would urge everybody to help out Alisha Shelton, Kate Bolz and Kara Eastman. We all deserve better. Much better. Now let’s get it done!