Democrats must fight the new tax law

Member to Member

Volume 118, No. 2February, 2018

Marvin Moschel

Protesting the Republican tax plan in Atlanta in December. Photo: John Ramspott

Like millions of other American workers, I am horrified by the tax law passed by the Republicans and I hope we can elect a Democratic congress this year. The Democratic Party must fight more effectively against the new tax law. Of the many issues to discuss during the 2018 congressional election campaign, the Republicans will promote the tax law as their major accomplishment. Lack of strong opposition by Democrats could lead to another Republican majority in Congress.

Republicans are depending on the fact that American workers in all fields will see increases in pay as of this month, and that the negative impacts of the tax law will be delayed until after the midterm election. It is crucial for Democrats to start now with a broadly-based critique of the law, to advertise and to repeat constantly in social media and TV commercials the many harmful aspects of the law. It’s not sufficient to emphasize only that the wealthiest people and corporations will benefit most from the law. Democrats must be specific about the disastrous consequences for the American people who will pay for those tax decreases.

The following costs to the American people will result from this tax law as they offset drastically the small increases in earnings for the working and middle class:

  1. A major reduction in federal aid to education which will force cities and towns to raise property taxes resulting in higher taxes for home owners and higher rents.
  2. Foreclosures and losses of homes.
  3. Reductions of police and fire protection.
  4. Higher state sales and income taxes to offset the lower federal aid.
  5. Medicare and Medicaid reductions leading to more expenses for seniors, the unemployed and lower-paid workers.
  6. Higher health insurance rates resulting from the ending of the Obamacare mandate as only those who are sick or have chronic health problems choose to pay for health insurance.
  7. The tax decreases for most wage earners will end in about five years.
  8. Limits on how much taxpayers can deduct for city and state taxes.

The Democratic Party should immediately begin its fight against the tax law repeating these issues in all the media. The party will likely lose the midterm elections this year if it waits to launch this campaign until just before the election.

Marvin Moschel is Local 802’s elected delegate to the New York City Central Labor Council. He’s worked for several unions and is a former organizing director at Local 802. A Democratic Party activist, Marvin Moschel is also active with the Gray Panthers.