by Brian Washington
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The U.S. Senate Republican leadership tax bill gives away trillions of dollars in tax breaks to the rich and wealthy corporations at the expense of working families.
It sounds like something the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, would support, no? Well, of course, ALEC supports the bill. This is ALEC we’re talking about. You remember ALEC, right? That conservative front group backed by the Koch Brothers that brings corporate lobbyists together with state politicians who agree to push ALEC-written bills in state legislatures across the country. You’ll recall that ALEC does all this in secret, behind closed doors, so you don’t see politicians selling out the communities they were elected to serve just to do the bidding of big corporations.
In fact, ALEC sent a letter to the Senate praising efforts to eliminate the deductions you get on your federal tax returns in relation to the state and local taxes you pay, the SALT deductions. Without these deductions, the state and local fiscal systems that fund vital services, like public education, would be robbed of hundreds of billions of dollars. This could trigger up to 250,000 education job losses, which could cause class room sizes to swell.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, middle-class and working families could face a tax increase if these deductions are eliminated. According to the National Education Association, which represents about 3 million educators across the nation, eliminating the SALT deductions takes money out of the pockets of as many as 44 million middle-class families across the nation.
While the bill hammers middle-class families on this, it oddly preserves the ability of businesses to deduct state and local taxes—yet another example of how the bill takes from working families to provide tax giveaways to the corporations,” states a letter the group sent to lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
“Eliminating any part of the state and local tax deduction could lead to a tax increase on middle-class families and have a negative, ripple effect on the ability of states and local communities to fund public services, like education. That could translate into cuts to public schools, lost jobs to educators, and overcrowded classrooms that deprive students of one-on-one attention.
NEA’s letter also gives insight into why ALEC is so hot on eliminating SALT deductions.
“It is no secret what is likely to follow if Congress eliminates SALT,” reads the NEA letter. “If there is any doubt, one need only to listen to what far-right groups like ALEC are saying right now. Their letter about the SALT deductions lays out their plan—to lobby for lower taxes at the state and local level. This means even fewer available funds for students and public schools.”
No surprise here. ALEC, which supports private school vouchers schemes that drain hundreds of millions of dollars from public schools, looks for ways to defund public education. So why should their motive behind support for the GOP leadership tax bill be any different.
TAKE ACTION: 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.