By Miguel Gonzalez and Amanda Litvinov
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Tell your members of Congress to VOTE NO on the Republican leadership’s tax bill. Click here ›
Today, the Senate approved along party lines a massive tax giveaway to the wealthiest and corporations paid for by students and working families. In addition to adding $1.5 trillion to the national deficit, the Senate voted to partially repeal the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act, which would leave 13 million Americans uninsured and result in drastic spikes in insurance premiums for millions more.
The bill also expands an education tax loophole that would further benefit the wealthy by allowing them to set aside money for private school expenses–essentially a voucher program for wealthy families.
There’s more bad news that affects public schools. As the Washington Post reported, the bill could jeopardize the ability of states and local communities to adequately fund public education, potentially risking state funding for 250,000 education jobs.
The Senate approved the measure even as the non-partisan Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, in a new report titled “A Punishing Decade for School Funding,” found that public investment in K-12 schools has declined dramatically in a number of states over the last decade.
“Public schools have not fully recovered from the Great Recession,” said Utah elementary school teacher and National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen García.
“Now, by eliminating the state and local tax deduction, the Senate just voted to blow a hole in state and local revenue to support public education, potentially risking the jobs of hundreds of thousands of educators, exposing public school students to serious and potentially damaging consequences—ballooning class sizes and overcrowded classrooms that deprive students of one-on-one attention.
“It is outrageous to hand massive tax giveaways for the wealthy and corporate special interests paid for by students and working families,” García said. “This is a terrible bill for the American people and we need more courage from members of Congress to stop this runaway train.”
This disastrous bill demands millions of people of modest to moderate means pay more in taxes, while the services their money is intended to support–including Medicare, Medicaid, and education–will take the brunt of the funding cuts that will be needed to offset the bill’s massive tax giveaways for the nation’s richest citizens and corporate special interests.
Republican leaders are desperate to finalize their tax giveaways for the wealthy before the end of the year. It is expected that the House and Senate will go to conference next week to work out the differences between their bills.
But efforts to defeat GOP tax reform are far from over.
You can help push back against this awful plan: Call your Members of Congress right now. Tell them to VOTE NO on the Republican leadership’s tax bill. Tell them you will not stand for a massive tax giveaway to the wealthy and corporations paid for by working families and students.