It was sad to see Mike Stenhouse’s article ‘State budget will benefit from tax reforms,’ in the Westerly Sun on Tuesday, Dec. 26, about the recent tax bill from Washington. For someone who should know better, he continues the Republican false talking points in attempting to sell this terrible bill.
He claims that 80 percent of Rhode Island residents will soon see increases in their income. This may be so for 2018, when the average paycheck may increase by $20 or so. The Republicans hope to use this small increase to get past the 2018 election cycle.
But starting thereafter, and continuing for 8-10 years after that, most Rhode Island residents will see their taxes increase until all those earning under $75,000 will be paying more taxes than they are now. And just think how much the middle and lower class incomes would rise if the 80 percent or more of the tax benefits that will go to the richest 1 percent of Americans (including phenomenal savings for real estate investors (surprise anyone)) went to those who really need it and would spend it.
Which brings us to the other falsehood — that the increased wealth of the richest among us will trickle down into increased employment and paychecks for the majority of people.
This trickle down theory has been clearly debunked by the terrible results and recessions induced by tax cuts for the rich in previous administrations and the horror of Kansas’ experience. Most corporations are currently flush with cash. They could easily raise incomes and increase salaries if they wanted to, but they don’t.
Many studies show when the richest corporations get more in profit, they use it to buy back stock, increasing stockholder dividends, and raising already high executive salaries. The best way to increase employment and salaries is to increase consumer demand. And the best way to do that is to put money into the pockets of the people who actually spend it on things, that is, the poor and working class people of this state and country.
The tax bill passed by the Republican Congress and signed by the President barely does that for a short time and then reverses even that increase.
It should be remembered that this is all being done by increasing the deficit by $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion over 10 years, showing just how much Republicans really don’t like the deficit. With that increase, there will be much less money for things that matter, like infrastructure, education, and safety net programs. It is likely that Republicans will cut Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security and other safety net programs we all rely on to pay for it.
I thank our legislators, Sen. Reed, Sen. Whitehouse, Rep. Langevin, and Rep. Cicilline for listening to and being responsive to the people of Rhode Island rather than the Center for Freedom and Prosperity, which ensures freedom and prosperity to the very wealthiest among us.