AFEU Legislative Call to Action!!!!

From: Matt Biggs <>

To: Matt Biggs <>
Sent: Monday, December 18, 2017 8:53 AM
Subject: Legislative Alert/call to Action – Congress set to pass damaging tax bill

To All IFPTE Locals:

This week the House and Senate are poised to pass their reconciled Corporate Tax Cut bill, the worst piece of legislation in decades that will raise the deficit by at least $1 trillion dollars, and represent a shift of income from low and middle income earners, to multi-nationals and the wealthiest 1% of wage earners. The margin for passage of this bill in the Senate could be by a single vote.

Bottom line if the bill passes: Many trillions of dollars of wealth will be transferred over the next decade from the US treasury (where they would have worked for public good) to the private pockets of the already wealthy (with no incentive to invest any of this windfall in wage growth or job creation), and much – but not all – of that transfer will come from the middle class of CA, NJ, NY, CT, IL, and elsewhere, especially those who have invested their life savings in a home. The rest of that transfer will just be debt handed to our children with only about a third of it potentially being recouped from economic growth. While low-income workers will see a small tax cut, the $1-1.5 trillion dollar increase in the federal deficit from this bill will leave the government unable to pay for things that help low-income and poor Americans (like Medicaid, including health care for children) or for things that benefit all Americans like the social safety net, defense, scientific/medical research, and new infrastructure. The White House and the House of Representatives are already talking about clawing back $300B<> from federal employee compensation over the next 10 years, as well as proposing big cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and even Social Security. <> To add insult to injury, the touted individual tax reductions which help the working poor and some in the middle-class will expire in 2024 (a delayed tax increases for ALL working people), while the Corporate Tax reduction (a ~40% reduction in the corporate rate) will be permanent.

Not surprisingly, the bill is opposed by 64% of Americans<>.

You can count on the following outcome if the bill passes:

* If you and your spouse file a Schedule A with >$24,000 in deductions, you are likely to experience a tax increase;
* Home values will likely drop decreasing every homeowner’s net assets, even for those who manage to get a tax cut;
* Home equity interest will no longer be deductible, nor will any interest paid on a mortgage above $750,000;
* The deduction for the sum of your state and local taxes (income + property + sales) will be capped at $10,000;
* The individual deduction is eliminated, even for dependents;
* The student loan interest deduction will be eliminated;
* Medical Insurance rates will rise much faster than they have over the past few years as 13M Americans become uninsured (healthy young people who leave the overall risk pool). By eliminating the Obamacare mandate to buy insurance, this bill will jeopardize future coverage for those with pre-existing conditions or make their premiums unaffordable.
* Deficit hawks, who ignored the huge deficits caused by the tax cut, citing the dramatically increased deficit in 2018 and beyond, will soon argue that America cannot afford new investment in infrastructure (which would actually create US middle class jobs) and that entitlements and government employee benefits are bankrupting the country,

What can you do as the final vote looms as early as tomorrow?

Exercise your first amendment right to contact representatives who voted for the initial House bill (see HR1 vote tally here<>) and who are thus likely to vote for the final version this week (on your own time and using your own personal device). Also, please ask friends and family members from all across the country to do the same. The final House vote will be close and the Senate vote will pass or fail by only one vote or two (the Vice President is staying in DC next week in preparation for being the tie breaker).

In the Senate, I would also urge Locals and their members in the States of Maine and Tennessee to contact Senators Collins<> and Corker<> urging them to vote against the final bill. Corker was the lone Republican NO vote in the Senate when the bill was first considered (I’ve attached the November 28th IFPTE Senate letter to this email), and while Sen. Collins has said she is supportive of the bill, she is not necessarily an enthusiastic supporter because of concerns related to doing away with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual mandate.

I know that it is easier just to assume that somebody else will speak up, or to pretend that all this talk of cutting federal benefits and Agency budgets will all somehow go away on its own, but that is wishful thinking. The vote is going to be so close that every voice — your voice — really matters!!

If Congress gets this wrong, many IFPTE members will no doubt feel the impact, as will the national budget for many years to come.

In Solidarity,

Matt Biggs