(Extensions of Remarks - December 21, 2017)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1756]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                           HON. JAMIE RASKIN

                              of maryland

                    in the house of representatives

                      Thursday, December 21, 2017

  Mr. RASKIN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong opposition to the 
proposal put forward by my Republican colleagues that is misleadingly 
titled the ``Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.'' I voted against the GOP Tax Scam 
when it was brought up in the House of Representatives a few weeks ago, 
and I did again this week when Republicans bypassed ``regular order'' 
to pass a partisan, highway robbery and power grab bill that will give 
massive tax cuts to corporations experiencing record profits and 
explode our national debt, while pulling the rug out from beneath the 
American Working Class and Middle Class.
  As the elected representatives of the American people, Congress 
should be passing legislation that helps every American, not serving as 
a rubber-stamp for tax cuts advanced by a President who bankrupted four 
companies, his high-flying billionaire cabinet, and his wealthy 
corporate donors demanding a big Christmas bonus for the one-percent. 
Yet that is precisely what the Republicans in Congress have done.
  Let's be clear: this bill will not ``stimulate the economy'' or 
``create more jobs''--in fact, more than 30 distinguished economists 
have invalidated these claims. This bill will not help middle-class 
Americans today and it will not help future generations of Americans 
tomorrow--in fact, these claims have also been proved false by the 
analysis of nonpartisan tax experts and government entities. Maryland's 
middle class, seniors, students, working families, and everyone else 
who is not a gigantic corporation, one of the richest of the rich in 
this country, or anyone without their own lobbyist will be made worse-
off under this proposal. Our children and grandchildren will be footing 
the bill for this irresponsible and reckless corporate giveaway for 
decades to come.
  Both the House and Senate tax bills are bad deals for my 
constituents, Marylanders, and ninety-nine-percent of Americans. There 
were virtually no hearings and no Democratic input in the process, 
while special interest lobbyists inserted absurd provisions (such as 
eliminating the deductions for state and local taxes and medical 
expenses, and opening-up oil drilling in Alaska).
  A recent analysis from the Joint Committee on Taxation found that 
many Americans, including many of my constituents, will receive a 
substantial tax hike under the Republican plan. Also, according to both 
the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation and the Congressional 
Budget Office, by 2027, those earning $40,000 to $50,000 would pay a 
combined $5.3 billion more in taxes, while the group earning $1 million 
or more would get a $5.8 billion tax cut. Apparently the Republican 
version of the new American Dream is to raise taxes on the Middle Class 
while showering millionaires with tax breaks.
  Congressional Republicans are also dismissing concerns over the debt, 
reversing years of deficit-hawk rhetoric so fast they are walking 
around with neck braces from the ideological whiplash. Suddenly the GOP 
is calling trillions of dollars of debt ``a drop in the bucket''--which 
will of course, be true, only until Republicans decide that we need 
deep painful cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security to pay for 
the magnificent tax cuts they have already bestowed upon the nation's 
wealthiest one-percent.
  If this legislation is such a boon for America's small businesses, 
why are the small businesses in my state so upset about the plan? 
Maryland's small businesses may be in favor of long-overdue tax reform, 
but this is not it. They wanted public hearings, where provisions like 
pass-through businesses could have been openly discussed and debated. 
Instead, we're looking at a bill which pretends to provide for small 
business but most pass-through income goes to the top one-percent of 
American earners. This is hardly helping America's Middle Class as the 
Republican leadership claims, but it certainly helps the GOP's gilded 
Donor Class.
  My constituents are not fools and they are not suckers. They are not 
holding buckets waiting for the Koch Brothers' private jet maintenance 
exemptions to magically ``trickle down'' and benefit them. No credible 
research has demonstrated that corporate tax breaks will create 
millions of new American jobs. In fact, documented history shows that 
just the opposite occurs. Foreign corporations are probably cheering 
along the GOP Tax Scam, knowing that America is only days away from 
creating millions of new jobs overseas. Trickle-down economics is a 
fraud. The only kind of economics that works for Americans is bubble-up 
economics where we invest in infrastructure, health care and 
education--we invest in the Middle Class and prosperity bubbles up 
  Furthermore, I often hear from my overseas constituents, who have 
their own profound concerns about our tax system. As someone who has 
lived abroad, I appreciate their concerns. Americans abroad are being 
treated unfairly--taxed first by their local tax authority, and again 
by the United States. No other countries tax their citizens abroad, 
with the exceptions of North Korea and Eritrea. Yet Congressional 
Republicans have chosen to ignore the nine million voices of red, white 
and blue American citizens seeking help and relief. The GOP is 
callously ignoring our citizens overseas, refusing to help millions of 
constituents abroad who desperately want and deserve expat tax reform.
  Congress should act immediately, so that U.S. citizens living abroad 
are not forced to choose between two terrible outcomes: draining their 
life savings to pay their taxes or renouncing their citizenship to 
escape this outrageous double taxation. There has been some important 
progress in this regard though. I'm pleased that my colleague from 
North Carolina, Representative George Holding, readily acknowledged the 
problem of expat taxation during the House Floor debate on H.R. 1, but 
frankly, it is shocking that the House Ways and Means Committee failed 
entirely to provide any tax reform relief whatsoever to millions of 
Americans living abroad.
  My constituents did not send me to Congress to vote for a bill which 
adds more than $1 trillion to our national debt; sends American jobs 
overseas; eliminates tax assistance provisions for the sick, seniors, 
college students, teachers, families with special needs children, 
working families, and middle-class families; and puts more into the 
pockets of people like President Trump.
  The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a hoax. Republicans boast that this bill 
provides ``tax cuts for everybody,'' but millions of Americans will see 
their taxes increased under this proposal. Don't just take my word for 
it, check out the latest analysis from the official revenue referee of 
Congress, the Joint Committee on Taxation.
  In closing, Mr. Speaker, this tax bill is a bad deal for Maryland, 
and indeed, nearly every American whose last name isn't Trump or Koch 
or Mercer or Adelson. I am proud to have taken a stand for Marylanders 
and America's Middle Class by voting against the GOP Tax Scam.