Independent Experts All Agree: Republicans’ Fake Math on the #GOPTaxScam Just Doesn’t Add Up

The facts are clear:  the Republican tax plan would blow up the deficit to hand out huge tax giveaways to the wealthy and corporations. Millions of middle class families would face tax hikes – not tax cuts – under the Republican plan. And Republicans want to use the huge new deficits they create as an excuse to attack Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. The American people know that the Republican tax plan is the exact wrong thing to be rushing through. Now, after months of false claims, the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans are using a single page of fake math to back up their tax scam. Independent analyses show that the Republican tax bill will blow up the deficit and generate almost no additional economic activity to make up for it.


Penn Wharton Budget Model:  “Even with assumptions favorable to economic growth, the Senate TCJA increases debt by over $1.5 trillion dollars over the next decade… By 2027, under our standard economics assumptions, GDP is projected to be between 0.5 percent and 1.0 percent larger, relative to no tax changes… Additional sensitivity analysis indicates that even under assumptions favorable to economic growth, by 2027, GDP is projected to be between 1.0 percent and 1.9 percent larger, and debt increases between $1.5 trillion and $1.8 trillion.” [Penn Wharton Budget Model, 12/11/17]

Tax Policy Center:  “Including macroeconomic effects and interest costs, the legislation is projected to increase debt as a share of GDP over 5 percentage points in 2027 to 96 percent of GDP, and over 4 percentage points in 2037 to 117 percent of GDP.” [Tax Policy Center, 12/11/17]

The Hill:  “The tax bill House Republicans passed last month wouldn't produce enough revenue from economic growth to pay for itself, Congress's tax scorekeeper said in a 13-page report released Monday. The economic growth resulting from the bill would lower the measure's revenue loss by more than $400 billion over 10 years. However, the bill would still cost about $1 trillion over a decade after accounting for those revenues, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT). [The Hill, 12/11/17]


USA Today/Suffolk University Poll:  Only 32% Support the Republican Tax Plan.  “A new USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll finds just 32% support the GOP tax plan; 48% oppose it. That's the lowest level of public support for any major piece of legislation enacted in the past three decades, including the Affordable Care Act in 2009.” [USA Today, 12/10/17]

USA Today/Suffolk University Poll:  64% Believe the Wealthy Will Benefit the Most. “Overall, only 35% believe that the bill will boost the economy, and 31% that their own families' tax bills will be lowered as a result. Nearly two-thirds, 64%, say the wealthy will get the most benefits; just 17% say the middle-class will.” [USA Today, 12/10/17]

Seven Reasons Republicans Should Abandon Their Tax Scam

Quinnipiac Poll:  “GOP Tax Plan Benefits Rich, U.S. Voters Say Almost 3-1”
Gallup Poll:  Just 29% Approve Of The Plan, While 56% Disapprove
Politico-Harvard Poll: About Three In Ten (29%) Believe It Would Help Them 


Gallup Poll:  56% Disapprove of the Republican Tax Plan.  “Mostly as a result of weak support from Democrats and independents regarding the proposed tax changes, 29% of U.S. adults as a whole approve of the plan, while 56% disapprove and 16% have no opinion. Still, 16% of Republicans disapprove, resulting in fewer Republicans approving of the plan (70%) than Democrats disapproving (87%).” [Gallup, 12/5/17]

Quinnipiac Poll:  53% of Voters Disapprove of the Republican Tax Plan.  “American voters disapprove of the tax plan 53 - 29 percent, the independent Quinnipiac University Poll finds.” Middle class Americans disapprove of the Republican tax plan 32 -52. Independents disapprove of the Republican tax plan 27-54.  [Quinnipiac, 12/5/17]

Politico-Harvard Poll:  Americans Disapprove of Republican Tax Plan by 19 Point Margin.  “At the present stage of the debate over the Republican tax proposal, 26% favor the proposal, 45% are opposed, while nearly three in ten (29%) are not fully aware of what is in the legislation. Even among Republicans, only about half (49%) favor the proposal as they understand it.” [Politico/Harvard, 12/5/17]


Quinnipiac Poll:  64% Say the Tax Plan Benefits the Wealthy the Most.  “The Republican tax plan pending in the U.S. Congress benefits the wealthy the most, 64 percent of American voters say, while 24 percent say the tax plan benefits the middle class and 5 percent say it benefits low-income people, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today… The plan will increase their taxes, 41 percent of voters say, while 20 percent say the plan will reduce their taxes and 32 percent say the plan will not have much impact on their taxes.” [Quinnipiac, 12/5/17]

Politico-Harvard Poll:  Only 29% Believe the Republican Tax Plan Would Help Them.  “Most of the public does not believe that the Republican tax proposal would help them or their families financially. About three in ten (29%) believe it would help them… Even among Republicans, only about half (52%) expect the proposal to help them or their families financially.” [Politico/Harvard, 12/5/17]

Public Religion Research Institute Survey:  48% Say Trump’s Tax Policy Will Not Benefit Them.  “Few Americans believe that the president’s tax proposal will help them or their family financially. Only 15% say the proposed policy will help them a lot, while 30% say it will help a little. Nearly half (48%) of the public say Trump’s tax policy will not be of any benefit to them at all.” [PRRI, 12/5/17]


Quinnipiac Poll:  Voters Say Democrats Can Do a Better Job Than Republicans on Taxes.  “In the wake of the Republican tax plan, American voters say 47 - 39 percent that the Democratic Party can do a better job handling taxes.” [Quinnipiac, 12/5/17]

The Republican Tax Plan Attacks Key Middle Class Tax Deductions to Give Huge Benefits to the Wealthy and Corporations

Washington Post: GOP Tax Plan Would Shrink Mortgage Interest Benefit, Slash Corporate Tax Rate

Bloomberg: How The GOP's Tax Plan Could Wallop Homeowners

CNN Money: House Tax Plan Would Kill The Student Loan Interest Deduction.

CNBC: The GOP Tax Bill Would Wipe Out Key Deduction For Nursing Home Residents


Associated Press: GOP Tax Plan May Offer Little Aid For Many In Middle Class. “House Republicans have stressed that the tax plan they unveiled Thursday is tailored to benefit America’s middle class. Just how much it would remains uncertain based on the details that have been provided so far. What is clear is that many of the benefits for the middle class could dwindle over time, even while companies and wealthy individuals could enjoy lasting tax advantages. … The tax plan’s primary beneficiaries would be wealthier Americans, who would enjoy lower tax rates despite the elimination of some breaks, a repeal of the so-called alternative minimum tax and the termination of the estate tax. ’With the details they’ve presented to us so far, it looks like the tax cut benefits the wealthy and major corporations,’ said Martin Sullivan, chief economist at Tax Analysts and a former staff economist at the Treasury Department. ‘In fact, if you have a large family, given the facts that we have now, that you would pay more in taxes.’” [AP, 11/2/17] 

Washington Post: GOP Tax Plan Would Shrink Mortgage Interest Benefit, Slash Corporate Tax Rate. “House Republicans on Thursday proposed the biggest overhaul of the U.S. tax code in three decades, a plan that would sharply cut tax rates for corporations and individuals while eliminating many popular deductions that Americans have long enjoyed.” [Washington Post, 11/2/17]

NY Times (Analysis): ‘Major, Major’ Tax Cut May Not Be in Store for Middle Class. “The House Republican tax bill is a clear windfall for corporate America and a roll of the dice for the middle-class families that President Trump promised would be the centerpiece of his economic agenda. Early projections suggest the bill would cut taxes for an average middle-class family. But the typical cut could be relatively modest, compared with the benefits for businesses and high earners. More important, the myriad changes in the code would actually raise taxes on nearly 13 million tax filers who earn $100,000 a year or less, according to preliminary calculations using the open-source economic modeling software TaxBrain. Those changes also include limits on, or the elimination of, what might be called tax breaks for middle-class aspirers. The bill would no longer allow Americans to deduct interest on student loans they took out to attend college. It would limit mortgage interest deductions to $500,000 on newly purchased homes, a provision that would hit middle-class teachers or office workers looking to buy starter houses in high-priced, economically vibrant areas such as New York City and Silicon Valley. One of the bill’s biggest lifts to working families would vanish after five years — though Republicans would certainly push to extend it — and another would be diluted by the bill’s changes to how the tax code calculates inflation.” [NY Times, 11/2/17] 

Washington Post (Analysis): GOP Vision For Taxes: Many People Paying More So Corporations Can Pay Less. “The controversy is over who will gain the most: the rich and corporations. The GOP bill would cut the corporate rate well below previous attempts, eliminate a tax on inheritance that affects only people with many millions of dollars, and take other actions that do not provide direct benefits to most Americans.” [Washington Post, 11/2/17]

Vox: Paul Ryan's Poster Family For Middle-Class Tax Cuts Would Ultimately Get A Tax Hike. “Running the math on these claims reveals exactly what the top priority is in the House Republican tax bill — corporate tax cuts, not tax cuts for middle-class families. So, as the bill is written, even the poster family Paul Ryan handpicked to support the bill would lose out by year 10. Keep that in mind when you hear him and his allies claim the bill is an unequivocal tax cut for the middle class.” [Vox, 11/3/17]

CNBC: Don't Celebrate Those Cuts Just Yet. This Tax Overhaul Could Leave You High And Dry. “The winners and losers of the Republican tax proposal are beginning to emerge. Lawmakers released the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on Thursday. The proposed legislation aims to simplify the tax code by slashing itemized deductions and cutting down the number of income tax brackets. Republicans are also seeking to reduce the federal corporate tax rate to 20 percent from its current maximum level of 35 percent. ‘There will be winners and losers in tax reform, and as it stands now, I worry that the benefits that are claimed to go to middle-income households won't play out,’ said Bill Hoagland, senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center.” [CNBC, 11/2/17]

USA Today: Tax Plan Caps Property Deduction At $10,000, Puts New Limit On Mortgage Deduction. “A sweeping overhaul of the tax code unveiled by House Republicans on Thursday would cap the deduction for property taxes at $10,000 and preserve the mortgage interest deduction only for existing mortgages and new purchases with loans of $500,000 or less.” [USA Today,11/2/17]

NY Times: Tax Change on Mortgages Could Shake Up the Housing Market. “The Republican tax plan unveiled on Thursday takes aim at the most sacred of cows: the provision that subsidizes homeownership by allowing the deduction of interest on mortgage debt. … ‘The impact on the market is going to be recognizable,’ said Ure R. Kretowicz, chief executive of Cornerstone Communities, a homebuilder in San Diego. ‘There’s going to be less incentive to build, and less incentive to buy.’” [NY Times, 11/2/17]

Bloomberg: How The GOP's Tax Plan Could Wallop Homeowners. “Pricey U.S. housing markets, from the New York suburbs to California’s coastal cities, could take a direct hit under the tax-reform bill released by House Republicans. … Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said the tax changes could initially cut prices by 10 percent in expensive markets and 3 percent to 5 percent across the U.S. ‘You can see why the industry is not too excited by all this,’ Zandi said. ‘It’s not good for home sales, house prices or new housing construction.’” [Bloomberg, 11/2/17]

Reuters: Republican Tax Plan Would Hurt U.S. Housing Market –Brokers. “A congressional Republican plan to slash a pair of popular tax deductions for home purchases and property taxes has set off alarm bells among realtors on the U.S. coasts, who fear it will throw cold water on the country’s hottest housing markets. … ‘There’s no doubt the proposed tax legislation will negatively impact real estate on both coasts,’ said Judi Desiderio, chief executive officer at Town & Country Real Estate, a brokerage in tony East Hampton, New York.” [Reuters, 11/2/17]

CBS News: GOP Tax Plan Cuts Mortgage Deduction In Half -- Starting Today. “Do you count on your mortgage deduction at tax time? If your loan or loans are more than $500,000, you won't be able to deduct the interest from your federal income taxes under the proposed Republican House bill unveiled today, which cuts the current deduction cap from $1 million.” [CBS, 11/2/17]

Asbury Park Press (NJ): GOP Tax Plan: NJ Middle-Class Homeowners Could Pay More. “Middle-class homeowners in New Jersey could be left with a higher federal tax bill under the House Republican tax plan unveiled Thursday, according to an analysis of the long-anticipated measure.” [Asbury Park Press, 11/3/17]

Sacramento Bee (CA)/McClatchy: Mortgage Deduction Cap Would Hit Some California Home Buyers. “The tax overhaul House Republicans unveiled Thursday keeps the mortgage interest deduction, as promised. But it adds a cap for new home buyers, who would only be able to deduct the interest for the first $500,000 of their mortgage. That would hit hard in California, where the average home price now hovers around half a million dollars, more than any other state. … ‘From what we have seen so far, limiting the mortgage interest deduction to $500,000 will no doubt hurt homeownership in states with high housing costs such as California,’ California Association of Realtors President Geoff McIntosh said in a statement.” [McClatchy, 11/2/17]

LA Times (CA): Owning A Home Could Cost More Under GOP Tax Plan, Especially If You Live In L.A. “The Republican tax plan released Thursday seeks to dramatically rewrite rules that have shaped the housing market for decades, potentially dealing a blow to California, where a shortage of housing has led to some of the highest home prices in the nation. … ‘It’s a blow for California,’ said Nela Richardson, chief economist at online real estate brokerage Redfin.” [LA Times, 11/2/17]

LA Times: GOP House Tax Bill Would Deliver Blow To California Homeowners. “House Republicans released a sweeping tax overhaul Thursday that would limit or end many of the most popular tools used to minimize how much Americans owe— particularly in high-cost areas like California -- including lowering the cap on mortgage interest deductions and eliminating write-offs of state income taxes.” [LA Times, 11/2/17]

Southern California Public Radio: GOP Tax Plan Has Outsized Impact On Socal Homeowners, Homebuyers. “Congressional Republicans introduced a tax overhaul plan that would disproportionately affect future homebuyers in high-priced real estate markets such as Southern California.” [89.3 KPCC, 11/2/17]

CBS Sacramento (CA): Trump Tax Plan Could Be Bad News For California Housing Market. “It could also take a toll on the housing market in California. It’s been a cherished tax deduction for homeowners nationwide. According to, in the Sacramento area, taxpayers deduct about $2,500 for their mortgages, but those deductions could be on the chopping block. … Gustavo Gonzales with Santa Clara Co. Association of Realtors said, ‘Look at the numbers! I mean, we are being punished because our housing is expensive. That’s not fair to any Californian.’” [CBS Sacramento, 11/2/17]

Bay Area News Group (CA): Bay Area Home Buyers Face Mortgage Deduction Slam From GOP Tax Plan. “Prospective Bay Area home buyers face a forbidding tax hit on new mortgages under a proposal by Republican lawmakers to slash federal taxes. GOP lawmakers want to place a cap of $500,000 on mortgage interest deductions for new home loans. Under current tax law, up to $1 million in mortgage interest can be deducted. Slashing the cap in half would hit the Bay Area, where the median home price for all nine counties was $768,000 in September and $1.075 million in Santa Clara County.” [Santa Cruz Sentinel, 11/2/17]

Chronicle of Higher Education: Republican Tax Proposal Gets Failing Grade From Higher-Ed Groups. Republicans in Congress released their proposed overhaul of the nation’s tax laws on Thursday, including several measures that would place new tax burdens on colleges and students — and, critics said, could undermine charitable giving to higher education. The bill was met with immediate opposition from a number of higher-education groups, which argued that the measure would rob institutions of vital dollars and increase the price of college for debt-laden students and already-strapped families. ‘The House tax-reform proposal released today would discourage participation in postsecondary education, make college more expensive for those who do enroll, and undermine the financial stability of public and private two-year and four-year colleges and universities,’ said Ted Mitchell, president of the American Council on Education and under secretary of education in the Obama administration, in a written statement.” [Chronicle of Higher Education, 11/2/17]

Bustle: Got Student Loans? Trump’s Tax Plan Might Actually Horrify You. “While eliminating those deductions is bound to impact taxpayers across the board, the GOP tax proposal could stand to impact millennials in a major way. How? Two words: student loans. Under current tax law — and with certain restrictions — interest paid on eligible student loans can be deducted from your total taxable interest. However, in looking to axe "special interest deductions," the GOP's new tax proposal could eliminate the current student loan interest deduction. … ‘Students graduate with enormous debts, that's well known,’ Stanford University tax law professor Joseph Bankman tells Bustle. ‘If you can't deduct your student loans, we're really increasing the cost of education.’ … ‘This is a provision that just increases the taxes on human capital and moves us in the wrong direction.’” [Bustle, 11/2/17]

Washington Post: Teachers Spend Nearly $1,000 A Year On Supplies. Under The GOP Tax Bill, They Will No Longer Get A Tax Deduction. “It’s well known that teachers — even those who earn meager salaries — dig deep into their own pockets for supplies to do their jobs, with one study estimating they spend an average of nearly $1,000 a year on everything from pencils to batteries. For now, teachers can get a small tax break — deducting up to $250 from their taxes — for what they spend on supplies. But under the GOP tax reform bill, that deduction would go away for teachers and other categories of workers, including certain state and local officials and performing artists.” [Washington Post, 11/2/17]

Wall Street Journal: House GOP Plan Would Affect Tax Breaks for Higher Education. “The House Republicans’ tax plan would affect benefits for Americans who enroll in higher education, boosting a popular tax break, eliminating two others and repealing a deduction for student-loan interest.” [WSJ, 11/2/17]

CNN Money: House Tax Plan Would Kill The Student Loan Interest Deduction. “House Republicans released a tax reform plan Thursday that would eliminate a tax break for Americans with student debt. The student loan interest tax deduction saves people as much as $625 a year, though most see a smaller benefit.” [CNN Money, 11/3/17]

LA Times: Republican Tax Bill Would Kill Deductibility Of Student Loan Interest. “The tax deduction for student loan interest would be eliminated as part of the sweeping tax changes proposed by House Republicans on Thursday. The changes also call for levying a 1.4% tax on the investment income earned by private colleges and universities that have sizable endowments, which would appear to include USC. … But John Walda, chief executive of the National Assn. of College and University Business Officers, said in a statement that repealing the student loan interest deduction was one of several reasons his trade group ‘has serious concerns with a number of provisions’ in the tax bill. ‘Part-time students who take classes to acquire new job skills will no longer be able to claim an education tax credit.’” [LA Times, 11/2/17]

US News and World Report: GOP Tax Plan Would Eliminate Student Loan Deduction, Educational Assistance Programs. “For example, the plan would no longer allow borrowers to deduct interest paid on their student loans. In addition, the proposal would repeal tax-code language allowing employers to establish programs that provide reimbursement to their employees for education expenses like tuition. Through such education assistance programs, employees can exclude from their taxable income up to $5,250 per year that's used for educational expenses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, employers often offer educational assistance programs in efforts to improve recruitment and retention, and to help maintain a skilled workforce. ‘I was surprised,’ Kathleen Coulombe, a senior adviser for government relations at the society, says of the provision. ‘The section has enjoyed bipartisan support. It always has.’” [US News, 11/2/17]

STAT: Paying Off Med School Debt? The GOP Tax Proposal Might End The Student Loan Interest Deduction. “Newly minted doctors and other health care workers may lose a critical tax deduction under the tax code overhaul House Republican leaders unveiled Thursday. The proposal repeals the student loan interest deduction — a policy that helped more than 12 million Americans who racked up education loans save up to $2,500 on their tax bills in 2015. … ‘What that really translates to is, whenever you make payments on your student loans throughout residency, all of those payments are literally going toward interest. They’re tax-deductible,’ said Dr. Daniel Gouger, the Education and Advocacy Fellow for the American Medical Student Association. ‘When you’re thinking about how much interest you’re having to pay when your principal is over $200,000, it’s an incredible amount of money.’ … But Gouger warned that the policy change would have a ‘disproportionate impact’ on the health care workforce — and in particular, on poorer Americans more likely to be deterred from medical school if the effective cost of attendance rises.” [STAT, 11/2/17]

Inside Higher Ed: Tax Benefits at Risk for Colleges, Student Borrowers. “The sweeping tax overhaul released by House Republicans Thursday would kill or limit key benefits for many colleges, students and borrowers paying off student loans. … Students -- especially older, part-time and graduate students -- would also see negative consequences from provisions of the Republican proposal, higher ed advocates said. The bill restructures the American Opportunity Tax Credit, eliminating tax benefits for students who take more than five years to graduate, as well as part-time and graduate students. And it repeals the Lifetime Learning Credit, which is used by grad students, workers who need retraining and part-time students and nontraditional undergrads who take more than four years to graduate.” [Inside Higher Ed, 11/3/17]

Kaiser Health News: House Tax Bill Would Kill Medical Deductions. “The tax bill unveiled by Republicans in the House on Thursday would not, as had been rumored, eliminate the tax penalty for failure to have health insurance. But it would eliminate a decades-old deduction for people with very high medical costs. … ‘For many people, this is a big deduction,’ said David Certner, legislative counsel for AARP, which opposes the change. AARP has calculated that about three-quarters of those who claim the medical expense deduction are 50 or older, and more than 70 percent have incomes $75,000 or below.” [KHN,11/3/17]

CNBC: The GOP Tax Bill Would Wipe Out Key Deduction For Nursing Home Residents. “The Republican tax bill will leave the nation's biggest health-care tax exemption for employer plans unchanged but would wipe out a key medical deduction for many elderly Americans in nursing homes. The bill would repeal the medical expense deduction, which allows people who spend more than 10 percent of their income on out-of-pocket health costs to write them off.” [CNBC, 11/2/17]

Medscape: GOP Tax Overhaul Eliminates Medical Deduction. “Taxpayers would no longer be able to deduct medical expenses after the 2017 tax year under the proposed Republican tax overhaul plan, introduced in the House yesterday.” [Medscape, 11/3/17]

Seattle Times: Washington State Sales Tax Deduction Axed In Republican Tax Bill. “The Republican tax bill introduced in Congress Thursday would end a state sales tax deduction taken by many thousands of Washington taxpayers on their federal returns.” [Seattle Times, 11/2/17]

San Francisco Chronicle:  California’s High Taxes, Costly Housing Mean Trouble Under GOP Tax Plan.  “People who live in high-tax states with high housing prices would fare worst under the tax bill released by House Republicans Thursday. Analysts are still poring over the details and crunching the numbers, but in general, ‘the bill is a large cut for businesses and a smaller tax cut for individuals,’ said Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow with the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.” [San Francisco Chronicle, 11/2/17]

Washington Post: Blue States Will Be Hit Hardest By GOP Tax Plan’s Limits On Deductions. “The GOP tax plan’s changes to deductions would hit people in blue states hard, with limits on popular tax deductions that would have the biggest effects on people with high property taxes and expensive homes.” [WaPo, 11/2/17]

Boston Herald: Gov. Charlie Baker: Tax Overhaul Hurts Massachusetts Families. “Congressional Republicans’ long-awaited sweeping tax overhaul has drawn swift criticism from Gov. Charlie Baker over plans to eliminate the state and local tax deduction — and mixed responses from business groups. The proposal includes the repeal of the state and local tax deduction, which allows taxpayers to deduct the amount they pay from their federal taxable income. ‘Governor Baker has serious concerns about the impact that eliminating the state and local tax deduction would have on Massachusetts families,’ said Brendan Moss, a spokesman for Baker, in a statement.” [Boston Herald, 11/3/17]

The Tennesseean: How The Republican Proposal Could Mean A Tax Increase For Thousands Of Tennesseans. Tennesseans would no longer be able to deduct state and local sales taxes on their federal returns under a tax-reform plan pushed by House Republicans, raising the possibility of a tax increase for thousands of people across the state. Since 2004, taxpayers have had the option of taking an itemized deduction for either state and local income taxes or sales taxes on their federal returns. Tennesseans in Congress have fought for years to keep the sales tax deduction, arguing it is a matter of fairness since residents of other states can deduct their state income taxes. Tennessee doesn’t have a state income tax. But the GOP tax bill released Thursday eliminates the deduction for state and local income taxes and sales taxes. Rep. Diane Black, a Gallatin Republican who chairs the House Budget Committee, said she has no problem with eliminating the sales tax deduction, even though she has argued in the past that it should be made permanent.” [Tennessean, 11/3/17]


Labor Leaders Agree: American Workers Need A ‘Better Deal’ – Leaders & Advocates From Across The Country Stood With Senate Dems Today To Unveil Their Plan To Put Workers’ Rights First & Strengthen Their Freedom To Negotiate With Employers

Labor Leaders & Worker Advocates From Across U.S. Visited The Capitol Today To Help Dems Unveil “A Better Deal” For Workers

Labor leaders and worker advocates from across the country today joined U.S. Senate and House Democrats to unveil one of the critical tenets of their economic agenda, “A Better Deal.” Specifically, the Democrats detailed their plan to offer a better deal for workers by proposing a ways to safeguard workers’ freedom to negotiate with employers, penalize companies that violate workers’ rights, protect unions and workers’ abilities to strike, and more.

The Senate and House Democrats stood alongside Richard Trumka, President of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), Lee Saunders, President of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Lily Eskelsen Garcia, President of the National Education Association (NEA), and Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) to propose their plan.

Labor leaders agree: workers need greater protections and A Better Deal. The full proposal can be found here.

Read what labor leaders and worker advocates had to say about the plan below:

“Strengthening workers’ freedom to join together and negotiate for better wages, benefits, safety, and retirement security should be a priority, and we commend Chuck Schumer and other congressional leaders for putting this at the top of their agenda.” – Richard Trumka, President of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).

“With Republicans at every level of government working overtime to strip away the freedom of working people to negotiate for better wages and better jobs, working men and women need the Democratic Party's 'Better Deal.'  Only by joining together in unions can working people stand up to the CEOs and corporate lobbyists who are keeping wages stagnant, sending jobs overseas and weakening our communities.  We commend the Democratic Party leadership for fighting to restore workplace freedom and the ability of working people to stand together for their share of the economic pie.” – Chris Shelton, President, Communications Workers of America.

“My union provided me with the clearest path to the middle class as a woman, a Latina, a daughter of an immigrant and a grand-daughter of a sharecropper. For educators, a union also gives us the freedom to advocate for the resources and tools that we know our students need to be successful -- whether that's smaller class sizes or guaranteed recess.” – Lily Eskelsen García, President, National Education Association (NEA).

“We must build an economy that works for all – not just those at the top. By strengthening the collective voice and negotiating rights of workers, the better deal proposal on collective bargaining begins to do just that. Our hope is that every member of Congress will support these more modern workplace policies because this is about more than unions, this is about helping their constituents and all hard-working men and women who have earned the right to a better life.” – Marc Perrone, President, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union.

“This is a which side are you on moment. While the GOP Congress is trying to give tax giveaways to the rich who already rigged the economy against working people we are proudly standing with the Democratic Leadership around a better deal for people like the cop who ran into danger in New York City, the teacher who is right now helping a kid graduate, or the home care worker caring for an elderly person. Working people need a better deal and that starts with collective bargaining and unrigging the laws so people have the freedom to negotiate for a better deal.” – Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

“This morning, congressional Democrats released a new plank of their ‘Better Deal’ economic agenda, this time focused on strengthening collective bargaining rights and ‘giving workers the freedom to negotiate a better deal.’ Collective bargaining is crucial to reducing inequality and ensuring that low- and middle-wage workers earn a fair return on their work. As productivity has risen over the last several decades, wages have remained flat for the majority of working people while skyrocketing for those at the top. It is heartening and timely that the Democratic caucus is focused on raising wages for American workers—recognizing that the decline in bargaining power for workers has contributed as a central factor to the lopsided economic outcomes in recent years. EPI has long recommended many of these policies in our research, as highlighted in our ‘Real Agenda for Working People.’ It’s time that Congress moves to strengthen workers’ rights to collective action, which are under attack on all fronts at the state level. We urge Congress to follow up these proposals with concrete legislative action.” – Thea M. Lee, Incoming President, Economic Policy Institute.

“Strong unions are more important than ever – to a thriving middle class, to shared prosperity, to an economy that works for everyone. I’m proud and pleased to be working with Senate Democrats toward those goals and defending the freedom of all working people to build power in numbers through a union.” – Lee Saunders, President, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

Republicans Are Making No Effort for Serious Bipartisan Tax Reform – Here’s How Comprehensive Bipartisan Tax Reform Went in 1986


The Reagan Administration released multiple, detailed tax reform proposals. In November of 1984, the Reagan Treasury Department released its first detailed, comprehensive tax reform proposal, known as “Treasury I.” This proposal was more than 400 pages long and included detailed revenue estimates. In May of 1985, President Reagan released a revised tax plan, referred to as “Treasury II.” This plan was nearly 500 pages long and included detailed revenue estimates. The Trump administration has released no such proposal.


30 Days of Public Hearings over Six Months. According to congressional records, the House Ways and Means Committee “held 30 days of public hearings on comprehensive tax reform proposals,” between February 27 and May 16, 1985. In addition, Ways and Means subcommittees held 14 days of hearings on tax-reform related measures. 

26 Days of Committee Markup over Four Months. According to congressional records, the House Ways and Means Committee “conducted 26 days of markup on the tax reform bill,” starting on September 18 and concluding with report of the tax reform bill on December 3. After rejecting a procedural motion on December 11, the House passed their version of tax reform on December 17, 1985.


36 Days of Public Hearings over Ten Months.  According to congressional records, the Senate finance committee “held 36 days of public hearings on comprehensive tax reform proposals,” between May 9, 1985 and April 21, 1986. These hearings were overwhelmingly on the Reagan comprehensive tax reform proposal or the House-passed bill. In addition, Senate Finance subcommittees held 6 days of hearings on tax-reform related measures.

17 Days of Committee Markup over Three Months. According to congressional records, the Senate Finance Committee "conducted 17 days of markup on the tax reform bill,” starting on March 19 and concluding with report of the tax reform bill, as amended, on May 6, 1986. The bill was reported unanimously, 20-0. After weeks of floor debate, the Senate approved the bill on June 26, 1986, 97-3.


More than 500 days after the first 1985 House Ways and Means Committee hearing on tax reform, the Conference committee on the Tax Reform Act began on July 17, 1986. The conferees adopted the bill on August 16, 1986. The House approved the conference report, 292-136 and the Senate adopted the bill 74-23. President Reagan signed the bill into law on October 22, 1986, more than 600 days after the first hearing.



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