Trump’s 35 percent tariff wouldn’t keep jobs in the U.S. Here’s why.

Source: WashingPost.com

Author:Joshua Tucker

Emphasis Mine

In a series of tweets on Dec. 4, Donald Trump proposed punishing American companies that move production overseas with an import tariff of as much as 35 percent on the sale of goods back into the United States. The justification for these measures was to keep U.S. companies from moving overseas.

But is this argument justified? Would such a tariff — even if Trump could overcome expected Republican resistance — keep companies from leaving the United States? What other effects might it have?

With these questions in mind, I reached out to my colleague at the NYU School of Law, Professor Mitchell Kane, an expert in international tax law. What follows is a lightly edited version of our conversation.

Joshua Tucker (JT): Trump’s proposal seems like it would be an effective deterrent to moving production offshore. So why are people concerned with it?

Mitchell Kane (MK): Imprisoning CEOs who moved jobs offshore would also be an effective deterrent. Absent evidence of some corruption (as might be reached by the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act), we would reject such a proposal out of hand. So the question is not whether we can imagine laws that would have the effect of keeping production in the United States. The question is whether we are willing to accept the trade-offs.

JT: What are the trade-offs in this case? Isn’t an import tariff just a fair leveling of the playing field since countries like Mexico impose a VAT (value-added tax) rebate at the border?

MK: The problem is that there are two outcomes we like: more rather than fewer U.S. manufacturing jobs and lower rather than higher prices on manufactured goods that we consume here. We need to accept that so long as labor costs are higher in the United States than in other countries, these two objectives will have to be traded off one another.

If we write rules to channel companies into higher cost structures, this will ultimately show up in consumer prices. That’s true regardless of whether Mexico rebates its VAT upon export of goods. When companies move production offshore it lowers their cost structure. Those cost savings will be passed along to consumers back in the United States eventually.

Not immediately, of course, or there’d be no incentive to offshore. But eventually American consumers are the beneficiaries of reduced costs. One way of viewing an import tariff is as an instrument that takes cost savings away from consumers and transfers them to the government.

JT: That would explain why many Republicans are hostile to the proposal. But how would this actually transfer funds to the government? It seems like the whole point is to get companies not to move. So if they don’t move the government wouldn’t actually be collecting any revenue from the tariff, right?

MK: There are two possibilities.

Suppose the tariff is set at an amount that is lower than the labor cost savings from moving offshore. For example, say the tariff captures half of the cost savings. In that case it could still be profitable to move offshore. The cost savings that are collected through the tariff are in a sense taken off the table. They cannot be passed along to the consumer because from the company’s standpoint they are no longer savings. They are costs paid to the government.

The second possibility is that the tariff is set so high that it fully absorbs any potential savings from reduced labor costs. Then there’d be no reason to move. But it would also become increasingly difficult for U.S. companies to compete with foreign companies that could use lower cost inputs and sell into the United States.

To complicate matters, we may not know which possibility we are facing. The problem is a dynamic one. The amount of tariff a company can absorb and still see profit will decrease over time as cost savings are passed forward to consumers.

Also, Trump has talked about an import tariff at a single rate. This will affect different sectors differently based on labor intensity in the sector. 

JT: Isn’t the answer to the foreign competitors problem to impose a tariff on those companies as well?

MK: That did not seem to be the original Trump proposal captured in the tweet sequence above, but it has been suggested by a number of Republicans, including Newt Gingrich. Once the tariff is extended to apply to foreign firms, however, this would almost certainly lead to countervailing measures such as trade penalties imposed on U.S. exporters.

JT: It sounds like a preferable option might be to reform the corporate tax system as suggested by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy in his response to the Trump tariff proposal when he said he did not believe in starting a trade war. Would that prevent companies from leaving the U.S.?

MK: McCarthy clearly favors the “Better Way” tax reform blueprint put forward by House Republicans over the Trump tariff idea. Among other things, the House Republicans want to lower the U.S. corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent and adopt a “destination basis” principle that would tax imports but exempt exports in the spirit of a border-adjusted VAT.

There are many problems with our international tax system, which is sorely in need of reform. A reduction in the explicit statutory rate is almost certainly a good idea compared to the current system in which companies often plan aggressively to reduce their effective rates in any event.

But the idea that the proposals advanced by House Republicans would preserve U.S. jobs makes no sense. Their basic premise is that at least for goods sold into the United States, companies should be taxed the same whether they have domestic or foreign production.

The problem, of course, is that the underlying economics favor foreign production. If the tax system is neutral, companies will move the jobs overseas. Even worse, for products destined for foreign consumers the proposals under the Better Way blueprint will actually favor foreign production by exempting profits from U.S. tax altogether.

Joshua Tucker is a Professor of Politics at New York University. He specializes in voting, partisanship, public opinion, and protest, as well as the relationship of social media usage to all of these forms of behavior, with a focus on Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

 

 

See:https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/12/08/trumps-35-percent-tariff-wouldnt-keep-jobs-in-the-u-s-heres-why/?utm_term=.ec2629e19d41&wpisrc=nl_politics&wpmm=1

Trump Offers Huge Favors to Billionaires, and Calls It a Big Economic Speech

GOP presidential pick’s policy paves way for Wall Street looting of economy.

Source: AlterNet

Author: Adele M. Stan

Emphasis Mine

If it came out of the mouth of any other politician, the speech delivered Monday by the Republican presidential candidate at the Detroit Economic Club would have been stunning in its mendacity. But issuing forth from the pie-hole of Donald J. Trump, it was, sadly, to be expected.

The lies were almost too many to count: Point to a sentence, find a lie. There was the lie about his opponent’s policy on taxing the middle class; Hillary Clinton clearly said she wouldn’t, and Trump is using her dropping of a consonant on a single word to say she did. (Just to be sure, PolitiFact had academics run audio of Clinton’s tax statement through a machine that analyzes such things.)

He claimed “the terrible Obama-Clinton judgment” destroyed Detroit’s manufacturing sector, when the Obama administration twisted Republican arms to get the funding to save the American auto industry

There were also lies of omission. The U.S., he said, has the highest corporate tax rates in the developed world, without mentioning the fact that many of the nation’s largest corporations pay no taxes at all. In fact, some, such as Verizon and General Electric, actually pay a negative tax rate, meaning they actually get rebates back from the Treasury.

I could go on and on, but “Trump lies” is pretty much a dog-bites-human story. Yawn.

More telling is who Trump named to his economic team—the very sort of people who stand to gain from his Main Street-looting economic policies. For starters, they are 13 rich white men. But they’re rich white men whose riches were mostly gained by preying on the weak. And most, Politico’s Shane Goldmacher reports, are major donors to the Trump campaign.

Take John Paulson, whose Paulson & Co. hedge fund, according to Forbes, “is famed for betting against subprime mortgages at the peak of the 2007 credit bubble.” Paulson, the magazine reports, is worth $9.8 billion.

Then here’s Harold Hamm, founder of the oil firm Continental Resources, who is known to frequent the big donor confabs convened by the Koch brothers (but who is now at odds with the scions of Koch Industries over the brothers’ refusal to back Trump). Hamm is a backer of the climate-science deniers in Congress, according to the Energy and Policy Institute, and is said to be shaping Trump’s energy policy. If you don’t see climate-science deniers as preying on the weak, think about the people who got hurt in Hurricane Katrina. Think about the people who can’t sell their homes in Norfolk, Virginia because of sea-level rise.

And let’s not forget Steve Feinberg, the CEO of something called Ceberus Capital Management, which Evan Popp and Josh Israel of Think Progress describe as “a private investment firm which specializes in ‘distressed investing.’” Among the “distressed” properties acquired by Ceberus is Remington, the manufacturer of the AR-15-style rifle—the kind that was used in the Sandy Hook massacre and other mass shootings.

My personal favorite among the men at Trump’s economic table is probably the least wealthy but perhaps the most disingenuous: Stephen Moore, former member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board and late of the Heritage Foundation. Known for his insanely inaccurate economic predictions, Moore has been the toady of billionaires for decades, allowing him to fall ever-upward.

In 2011, while reporting for AlterNet and the Investigative Fund on the Koch brothers’ fomenting of the Tea Party movement, I found Moore wrapped up in a for-profit scheme apparently designed to scare the employees of companies hired by him into voting for Republicans. The scheme was called Prosperity 101 and was helmed by Mark Bloch, then the state chairman of the Wisconsin chapter of the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity political astroturf group. Moore was often a paid speaker at the ostensibly voluntary seminars employees at firms in the Koch network were invited to attend. He was also often a paid speaker at Americans for Prosperity events, even as he sat on the editorial board of one of the nation’s major newspapers.

Moore’s contribution to the seminar textbook was illustrative of his willingness to simply make stuff up. From AlterNet’s 2011 report:

In “The Keys to Prosperity,” Moore’s chapter in the Prosperity 101 textbook, he offers up a series of charts, some of them indecipherable, including a pie chart called “Where Your Federal Tax Dollar Goes.” (Apparently derived from an earlier presentation Moore made at an AFP Foundation event, the same charts can be found here; scroll to slide no. 16 for this one.) Citing such official sources as the Internal Revenue Service, the Government Accountability Office and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it features eight slices labeled “Flushed Down a Toilet, “Pissed Away,” “Down a Rat Hole,” “Sleaze,” “Corruption,” “Given to ‘Supporters,'” “Tossed Down the Drain,” and “Postage Stamps.” (The latter, Moore baselessly contends, accounts for 6 percent of your tax dollars—which is, incidentally, six times the allotment for non-military foreign aid). 

In psychology, there’s a concept known as projection, the term for when a patient ascribes to his nemesis the very motive or behavior that animates the patient. 

In his nearly hour-long speech at the Detroit Economic Club, Donald Trump accused his opponent of being “bought, controlled and paid for by her donors and special interests.” 

Look at the men on Trump’s own economic team, and you’ll get a very clear idea of just who his policies aim to benefit.

 Adele M. Stan is AlterNet’s senior Washington editor. Follow her on Twitter @addiestan.

See:http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/election-2016-0?akid=14516.123424.kDqD-C&rd=1&src=newsletter1061540&t=2

Hedge Fund Billionaires Are Desperately Spending Money to Attack Bernie Sanders

A new advertisement released by Future 45 criticizes Sanders’ proposed minimum wage increase and health care for all.

Source: AlterNet

Author: Susan Lazare

Emphasis Mine

It is no surprise that hedge fund billionaires oppose Bernie Sanders, the U.S. senator and 2016 presidential hopeful who has proposed a .5 percent speculation tax and pledged to tackle wealth inequality.

A new article in the Intercept finds that hedge fund managers have banded together to form their own super PAC, called Future 45, and it has started launching attacks on the Sanders campaign. In a new advertisement circulating this week, Future 45 goes beyond the individual, taking aim at the very tenets of Sanders’ candidacy: a $15 minimum wage, free college and health care for all.

(N.B.: go to link to see video)

Reporter Zaid Jilani notes that the super PAC has some well-heeled backers:

Future 45 is run by Brian O. Walsh, a longtime Republican operative who has in the past served as political director for the National Republican Congressional Committee. Most recently, he was president of the American Action Network, a dark money group that was the second-largest outside spender in 2010.

Over the last year, Future 45 has been funded primarily by hedge fund managers. It has received $250,000 each from two billionaire Rubio-backers: Paul Singer, who runs Elliott Management, and Ken Griffin, who runs Citadel.

The Future 45 advertisement, released in the lead-up to the South Carolina primary, is the super PAC’s first to go after Sanders. The organization has produced at least five advertisements since October 2015 criticizing Hillary Clinton.

Meanwhile, Future 45 is not the only super PAC spending large sums this month. According to the Washington Post, the biggest super PAC backing Hillary Clinton, Priorities USA Action, “is making its first significant foray into the 2016 primary, launching a radio campaign in South Carolina and spearheading a $4.5 million effort to drive early turnout of African American, Latino and female voters in states that hold contests in March.”

Sarah Lazare is a staff writer for AlterNet. A former staff writer for Common Dreams, Sarah co-edited the book About Face: Military Resisters Turn Against War. Follow her on Twitter at @sarahlazare.

See:http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/watch-hedge-fund-billionaires-are-desperately-spending-money-attack-bernie-sanders?akid=13986.123424.a3P-OK&rd=1&src=newsletter1050870&t=6

Marco Rubio’s $12 Trillion Problem

Source:Esquire.com

Author: Charles Pierce

Emphasis Mine

Probably because he has rocketed within sniffing distance of double-digits in the latest polls, people are talking seriously about the threat that Marco Rubio, a lost child in a wilderness of rakes, could be president of the United States. That’s why we’re hearing all this stuff about his personal finances, and about the Florida Republican party and its credit cards. (Senator Professor Warren made the only point worth making about this subject last night on Chris Hayes’s electric teevee show. She wondered why someone who’s had the problems with his personal finances that Rubio has had could be so oblivious to the plight of families struggling with debt. That’s a question he should be made to answer in specifics.) But I am less concerned with what’s in Rubio’s wallet, and more concerned with his plans for the public purse because, based on what he’s released so far, this country’s going to be selling apples on the sidewalk by his second State of the Union address.

First, there’s his tax plan, which is a massive shove of wealth upwards.  Estimates have suggested that Rubio’s tax cut would increase deficits by anywhere from $4 trillion to $12 trillion over 10 years, depending on how you count. Either way, it’d be a staggering amount of money — so staggering that even prominent conservatives have blanched at the price tag. But according to the CTJ analysis, the poorest one-fifth of the country would keep just 6 percent of the money while the bottom 60 percent, as a whole, would get just 22 percent. By contrast, the richest 5 percent of Americans would pocket nearly half of the tax cut while the richest 1 percent alone would receive more than one-third.

See:http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a39513/marco-rubio-budget-reaganomics-acid/?mag=esq&list=nl_enl_news&src=nl&date=110715

Trump Tax “plan”

Source:ThinkProgress

Author:Bryce Covert

Emphasis Mine

On Monday, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will unveil a detailed tax reform plan — and he is already positioning it as a populist proposal. In a press alert about the plan, the campaign states, “Essentially, the plan is a major tax reduction for almost all citizens and corporations, in particular, those in the middle and lower income classes.”

And already, the portion of the plan that affects low-income Americans, which would impose a zero percent tax rate on individuals who make less than $25,000 and married couples who make less than $50,000, is generating headlines. “Trump promises a ZERO per cent tax rate for millions: He plans to cut tax for the poor, middle classes and corporations, soak the rich,” the Daily Mail headline reads. “Mr. Trump’s plan appears designed to help him, as the GOP front-runner, cement his standing as a populist,” the Wall Street Journal article previewing the details states.

But the plan has a number of provisions that will overwhelmingly help the already well off.

Lower taxes for corporations

Trump proposes the lowest corporate tax rate of the entire Republican presidential field so far. He would reduce the rate to just 15 percent; by contrast, Sen. Marco Rubio (FL) would reduce it to 25 percent, while Jeb Bush would impose a top 20 percent corporate rate. That would be the on-paper tax rate; American companies already pay relatively low tax rates in reality, however. Thanks to their ability to take advantage of loopholes, tax breaks, and aggressive accounting schemes, the effective rate they pay is already under 20 percent. Meanwhile, although Trump says his tax reform plan will “create jobs and incentives of all kinds while simultaneously growing the economy,” lower corporate taxes don’t tend to go hand in hand with higher growth. There is no evidence that high rates hurt the economy; rather, those that pay the highest effective rates actually create more jobs than those that find ways to pay less.

And he would also impose a one-time, mandatory 10 percent tax on the profits American corporations hold overseas, which could be paid over a few years, to entice them to bring them back here and in theory create more jobs. A similar although slightly different plan, called a “repatriation holiday,” has been tried before, where corporations were offered a low, temporary tax rate on offshore profits to bring them home. When it was imposed in 2004, companies largely used the profits they brought back to give money to shareholders, rather than invest it in hiring or equipment, and many laid off large number of workers at the same time.

Lower taxes for the rich

It’s not just the poorest who would get a tax cut under Trump’s plan. The wealthy would get a hefty reduction too. The highest individual tax bracket, which would apply to married couples who make more than $300,000, would be lowered from the current 39.6 percent rate to 25 percent. That’s an even lower top tax rate than under Bush’s plan, which proposes a top 28 percent on income; yet analysis of Bush’s plan found that the top 1 percent of earners would get the overwhelming benefit of his tax cuts, with an 11.6 percent increase in after-tax income compared to 1.8 percent more for the poorest and between 2.3 and 3.1 percent for the middle class. As with lowering the top corporate tax rate, there’s little evidence that lower income taxes help spur job growth, as it’s historically been stronger under higher rates. Some economists have found that the optimal tax rate for the wealthiest is closer to 90 percent.

Giveaways to the wealthiest

Trump’s plan would also get rid of the estate tax, which only affects the wealthiest 0.14 percent of Americans. Thanks to reductions in the rate over the years and creative methods of getting around it, those who owe it only pay an effective 16.6 percent rate, and less than 10 percent of the $60 trillion that will get passed down to wealthy heirs and charities over the next half century will be paid in estate tax. Nevertheless, it is a significant and progressive source of government revenue, since it only impacts those most able to pay yet will generate $246 billion over the next decade.

And while Trump would follow through with his rhetoric calling out the lower tax rate hedge fund managers pay on the income they earn from doing their jobs by ending the carried interest loophole, he would also cut the top capital gains tax rate to 20 percent. The current code already means that income made from investments enjoys a much lower 23.8 percent rate than income made from work, which is taxed at a top 39.6 rate. And those who enjoy the benefits of a lower capital gains rate are mostly the rich: 70 percent of the money saved through a lower rate goes to the top 1 percent of earners, while just 7 percent goes to the bottom 80 percent. The lower capital gains tax rate is one of the biggest contributors to growing income inequality.

See: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2015/09/28/3706197/trump-tax-proposal/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=tptop3&utm_term=4&utm_content=5

Ohio Journalists On The Real John Kasich: Anti-Union, Anti-Choice, Anti-Marriage Equality

Source: Media Matters

Author: Joe Strupp

Emphasis Mine

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who announced his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination this week, may appear moderate. But according to reporters who cover him regularly, the former Fox News host’s tenure in the statehouse has included efforts to reduce collective bargaining, limit abortion rights, and fight marriage equality.

Ohio reporters who have covered Kasich closely raise several areas of interest for national media that have less experience covering him.

His efforts to cut state spending and balance the budget did reduce taxes, but put more of a burden on local governments, Ohio journalists point out. They also note his off-the-cuff style can lead to wandering speeches and incidents like the revelation that he called a police officer an “idiot” during a 2008 traffic stop.

“He can be quite a character sometimes, the national press doesn’t know how to take him,” said Shane Stegmiller of Hannah News Service and president of the Ohio Legislative Correspondents Association. “You never know what he’s going to say.”

Stegmiller cited the “idiot” incident, which occurred before Kasich’s 2010 election, but became public in 2011: “It blew up on him pretty big.”

Then there are his often-forgotten fights against abortion and gay rights, according to Chrissie Thompson, a Cincinnati Enquirer state government reporter since 2013.

The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide stemmed from the Ohio-based Obergefell vs. Hodges case, in which plaintiff Jim Obergefell sued to be listed on his spouse’s death certificate as the surviving spouse. Defendant Richard Hodges, the Ohio director of public health, is a Kasich appointee.

“The department of health was the lead defendant in Obergefell vs. Hodges in the gay marriage debate,” Thompson said. “Kasich opposed same-sex marriage and he authorized the fight to protect our gay marriage ban.”

Since he took office, Kasich has also signed restrictive abortion bills that have led to half of the state’s 16 abortion clinics closing, with the potential for more to close in the near future.

He had signed some abortion restrictions and those have resulted in the closure of some of our abortion clinics in Ohio,” Thompson said. “He does not like to talk about it a lot.”

Another issue that occurred during his first year in office was the proposal known as Senate Bill 5, Kasich’s effort to clamp down on collective bargaining rights for public employee unions. Similar to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s more publicized union fight, the Kasich measure was passed and signed into law, but drew harsh criticism. It was eventually voted down overwhelmingly via a ballot referendum later that year.

“Senate Bill 5 was hugely controversial,” recalls Laura Bischoff, a 14-year statehouse reporter with the Dayton Daily News. “They wanted to really gut collective bargaining rights for public employees and it sparked huge protests at the statehouse, bigger than I’ve ever seen.”

Marc Kovac, statehouse bureau chief for Dix Newspapers and The Vindicator of Youngstown, agreed.

“Kasich was a staunch supporter of public employee collective bargaining reform, signing the former Senate Bill 5 into law and setting off a massive referendum effort that blocked that law from taking effect,” he said.

Bischoff also pointed to Kasich’s privatizing of some prisons, a move that drew corrections officer complaints about conditions and resulted in an audit that found 47 violations in one private institution.

“There is a question as to whether it saved money more than projected, the union that represents corrections officers said it was bad,” Bischoff said. “There was one audit report that was really bad about conditions the inmates were living in.”

Kasich’s economic stimulus program, JobsOhio, is another point of contention, according to reporters. The private, non-profit agency was created to help spark job growth, but in a secretive fashion that exempts it from state open public record laws and limits state audit oversight.

“People didn’t like the fact that it’s now somewhat shrouded in secrecy with public money,” said Jim Siegel, a Columbus Dispatch statehouse reporter since 1998. “There are concerns it could be used for cronyism. He believes in the private sector and letting the private sector do as much as possible on things. He’s made efforts to privatize as much as he can.”

And the job growth has been less than successful, Stegmiller says, noting the state’s job growth rate for the past 32 months is at 1.73%, below the national average of 2.09%.

“While Ohio had gained back a lot of jobs, it lags a lot of states in job recovery,” he said.

The state budget, meanwhile, is something Kasich touts as a success, journalists say. But the impact may be less positive than he lets on.

Reporters cite the claim that Kasich eliminated an $8 billion deficit and shored up the state’s “rainy day” surplus fund. But in reality, he cut funding to local governments and school districts, forcing many to increase their own taxes and fees.

“By reducing their funding, now they are having to go to voters and ask for local levies to help make that up,” said Jackie Borchardt of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. “The local government or school district is having to raise more revenue that way. In his first budget, he did slash spending for education. He cut it and local governments have said they continue to chip away at their funding.”

And the $8 billion deficit Kasich touts wasn’t really a deficit, according to the Enquirer’s Thompson: “We never actually had a deficit, he used the word deficit and it was a projected shortfall.”

Kasich supporters also brag about his big re-election victory in 2014, in which he beat Democratic challenger Ed FitzGerald nearly 2 to 1. But what is often lost is that FitzGerald, then the Cuyahoga County Executive, was hit with a very public scandal after it was revealed the married candidate was found by police in a parking lot at 4:30 a.m. with another woman.

The circumstances of that incident remain unclear. But things got worse when it was found he had been driving without a license for about 10 years.

“He won 86 out of 88 counties in 2014, but he was running against a very weak opponent,” Thompson said about Kasich’s last election.

 

See: http://mediamatters.org/blog/2015/07/23/ohio-journalists-on-the-real-john-kasich-anti-u/204560

Republican Budget Makes Rich Richer, Hurts Families

Source: RSN

Author: Elizabeth Warren

Emphasis Mine

A budget is a building plan for the future. It’s about what it takes for our families, our businesses, and our economy to thrive.

What do we need? Our kids need a good, affordable education. Our workers need good wages, good benefits, and good jobs here in America, jobs built on 21st century innovation and technology. Our businesses and workers need transit, roads, and bridges that are safe enough, strong enough, and fast enough to get us to work and to keep goods and services moving. And everyone needs to know that we’re in this together. That’s how we build a strong future.

Republicans in Congress have a different vision. The Republicans’ partisan budget, jammed through the Senate last month, will make the rich richer and the powerful more powerful, while leaving our kids, our college students, our seniors, our workers, and our families to fall further and further behind.

If the drastic cuts in the Republican budget are applied proportionately, it could cut transportation funding over the next decade by 40 percent. So if you think we already have a crumbling infrastructure, if you’re already worried about old buses and whether the T can struggle through another winter, remember that Republicans want to slash support for transportation.

Cutting construction and repair also means cutting jobs. Economists estimate that the Republican budget would mean about 56,000 fewer jobs in Massachusetts alone.

The Republican budget also takes aim at our kids. Over the next decade, it could eliminate Head Start for 400,000 children across the country, including about 5,000 kids here in Massachusetts. The budget could make college more expensive for over 130,000 Massachusetts students who receive Pell grants. And cuts in the student loan interest rates? Forget it. The Republican budget keeps sucking down billions of dollars in profits off student loans.

The Republican budget puts Massachusetts seniors’ health at risk too. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the days when seniors had to choose between filling a prescription and paying the rent were over. But under the Republican budget, nearly 80,000 seniors in Massachusetts could pay an average of $920 more per year for prescription drugs. About 900,000 seniors in Massachusetts could lose free preventative Medicare health services, and over 25,000 Massachusetts nursing home residents who rely on Medicaid could face cuts to their care and an uncertain future.

And what about medical research and technology—the kind of work we’re proud to do in Massachusetts? For over 10 years, Congress has decimated medical research funding, choking offsupport for projects that could lead to the next major breakthrough against cancer, heart disease, ALS, diabetes, or autism.

With more and more families desperate for those breakthroughs, what’s the Republican solution? Cut the National Institutes of Health budget. Cut medical research. In fact, compared to the President’s budget, the Republican budget could mean 1,400 fewer NIH grants a year.

The Republican budget also cuts $600 billion from programs like nutrition assistance, putting at risk food stamps for thousands of Massachusetts families that depend on this program to put food on the table. And the Republican budget could cut funding for heating assistance, funding that helped over 180,000 Massachusetts families stay warm in the winter.

We know who this budget would hurt – millions of hard-working families in Massachusetts and all over this country who are trying to make ends meet; people who work hard and play by the rules, but who are seeing opportunity slip away.

Why? Why billions of dollars in cuts for education and medical research, for heating assistance and highways? Because the Republicans want to give billions of dollars in new tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans—and they expect everyone else to pay for it. The Republicans have planned $269 billion in tax cuts that would go to just a few thousand of the richest families. That’s not just irresponsible. It is just plain wrong.

A budget is about values, and this budget puts Congressional Republicans’ values on vivid display. This budget is about making sure that a tilted playing field tilts even more, while everyone else gets left further and further behind.

Those aren’t Massachusetts’ values and they are not America’s values. We believe in opportunity, and that means fighting for a budget where everyone—not just the rich—has a fighting chance to build a better life for themselves and their children.

 

See:http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/30591-republican-budget-makes-rich-richer-hurts-families