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Reps. Kildee, Dingell, Levin Join Michigan Families, Students to Highlight Devastating Impact of GOP Tax Bill

November 13, 2017
Press Release

U.S. Representatives Dan Kildee (MI-05), Debbie Dingell (MI-12) and Sander Levin (MI-09) today joined Michiganders to highlight the devastating impact of the Republican tax bill on working families, students and seniors. The bill, which House leadership plans to rush to a vote next week, would raise taxes on 38 million working families across the country, while providing a $1.5 trillion tax cut to the wealthy and big corporations.

The Representatives were joined by Michiganders who would be hardest-hit under the plan, which eliminates major tax deductions benefiting working families, including the student loan interest and medical expense deductions, and creates new incentives for big corporations to ship jobs overseas.

“We need a tax plan that puts working families first – that provides real relief for childcare and education expenses, promotes retirement security and protects vital deductions relied on by families with sick children and those with long-term care needs,” said Dingell. “Instead, the Republican plan we will vote on next week asks working families to sacrifice more so multinational corporations and the wealthiest can get a tax cut – all while paving the way for future cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. The stories we heard today underscore the damage this bill would do to families, children and seniors in Michigan. I support tax reform that puts working families first, makes our tax code simpler and fairer, and promotes economic growth, but I will not support a plan that adds $1.5 trillion to the deficit only to benefit the wealthy. Working families must benefit.”

“After a week of committee work, it's clear that the House Republican tax plan actually raises taxes on tens of millions of middle class Americans,” said Levin. “The bill gives the very wealthy and corporations massive tax breaks while eliminating deductions so many families rely on, such as for educational and medical expenses. Instead of thoughtfully working with Democrats, Republicans are trying to jam through something to placate their donors. This won't work for the American people.”

"The Republican tax plan does not help the middle class,” said Kildee. “Their plan would cut taxes for the rich and big corporations while many middle class families would see a tax increase. Simply put, the Republican plan is a scam for the working people I represent and we must defeat it."

“Like 45 percent of Americans our taxes would go up, not down, if this tax ‘reform’ is passed, making it harder for families like ours to maintain our tenuous financial stability,” said Ari Sammartino of Ypsilanti, who has two children with her husband Eli Rubin. “If our taxes were going up so that poor Americans would have a better life or if our taxes were going up to fund truly universal programs that would be accessible to every American, that would be one thing. And we would be proud to do our part. But it is galling that our taxes will go up so that rich people don’t have to pay the AMT or the estate tax, each of which only affect a small number of wealthy households, and corporations get a huge tax cut.”

“We oppose the repeal of the medical expense deduction,” said Jay Kalisky, a volunteer with the American Cancer Society, who has been a Certified Public Accountant for 39 years. “We need to give added support to families who have chronic illnesses. Of the 9 million taxpayers that claim the medical deduction, 75 percent have incomes under $75,000. This is the middle class that we want to help.”

“By eliminating educational tax credits, considering tuition waivers as taxable income, and taking away student loan interest as a deduction, this bill is sending the message that education is not expensive enough,” said Virginia Field, a graduate student studying Industrial and Systems Engineering at University of Michigan-Dearborn. “We need to help get people educated and contribute to the world not make sure they live under crushing debt.”

The Representatives were also joined by Robert Gordon of the Sierra Club. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, families in Michigan who make $20,000 to $40,000 a year would pay more in taxes under the Republican tax bill. Analyses also show that larger families will be especially hard hit. In addition to raising the standard deduction, the bill would eliminate the so-called personal exemption, which lets most taxpayers deduct about $4,000 for every person in their household.

The bill also eliminates vital tax deductions used by millions of working families nationwide. It eliminates the state and local tax deduction; eliminates the student loan interest deduction, raising taxes and spiking the burden of student loans on graduates and current students; eliminates the medical expense deduction, which more than eight million Americans depend upon to afford high medical expenses; and provides corporations with new incentives for shipping American jobs overseas.

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