Michael Battalio

Saturday, December 23, 2017

More on tax cuts

I write again to discourage you from voting for massive tax cuts that will drive up the deficit.  I won’t bother to try to dissuade you from thinking that these tax cuts are anything but a giant gift to the wealthy and your donors.  Either you know they are and don’t care, or you really think they are and will never be convinced otherwise by one constituent’s letter.  Instead, I implore you to think of the future of the country.  I’d like to quote your own website, “Our nation is drowning in debt, and sadly the folks truly hurt by this legacy will be society’s most vulnerable and our children and grandchildren who will be left with the tab.”  That page was just from three short years ago.  (https://www.johncornyn.com/2014/10/09/tx-gop-vote-nation-drowning-debt/)  Why if it was bad for Obama to add many trillions to our debt (which I agree was bad) is it okay for you to add another $1.5 trillion?  I just don’t understand why it is okay only if you do it.  I know the lie you tell everyone:  that these cuts will spur the economy to greater heights.  But if the DOW is at record levels and corporate profits are at records highs, do we really need to help them?  We don’t.  Instead of wishing that corporations bestow their new tax breaks on the middle and lower classes, just help the middle and working classes directly.  Time and time again we’ve seen that corporations don’t trickle the money down. They just issue dividends and stock buy backs that do nothing for the economy.   It is why so many of your fellow senators are trying to write up ‘trigger’ legislation to raise taxes if (when) the ridiculous economic growth projections are not met.  The rich also don’t spread the wealth.  Just look at median incomes after the Bush tax cuts.  They were and are flat.

If we need to have a national conversation about what government needs to fund, then so be it, but cutting taxes then forcing us to cut spending later is holding the economy and the country hostage.  It’s wrong.  Please; please; please, if you’re going to buy off your donors with tax breaks, don’t break the deficit and balloon the national debt more.  Find offsets, whether if be closing corporate loopholes or entitlement reform.  I would even be okay with privatizing Social Security, but we have to have a discussion about it.  Not change it under threat of a default in a few decades because of and irresponsible tax cut.  

Lastly, if this disaster of a bill does pass, please strip it of the provision that eliminates the ability of graduate students to be exempt from having to pay taxes on their tuition vouchers.  If that provision remains, it will destroy research in America.  Tens of thousands of Texan graduate students will no longer be able to afford advanced eduction.  We will cede our research and development advantage to China and India.  That won’t MAGA.  It will make America worse.
Thank you.

Michael Battalio

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