What we’re reading on the tax bill

This week, the news has been dominated by Congressional efforts to pass a tax bill that would give billions of dollars in tax breaks to the wealthy, while paving the way for austerity measures that would further harm poor and working people. Here’s what we’re reading to learn more:


The Republican tax bill is not just immoral. It is an act of violence, by the Rev. Dr. William Barber and the Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis via The Guardian

“The claim of the cuts is scarcity. But we do not have scarcity of money; we have a scarcity of moral will. We have an abundance of resources that could end poverty for everyone.

Extremist leaders are proposing to give billions in tax breaks to the wealthy, and to pay for it by raising taxes and cutting life-saving services for poor people, working poor people and the most vulnerable among us.”


The GOP plan is the biggest tax increase in American history, by far , by Ryan Grimm via The Intercept

“The tax bill moving its way through Congress is routinely referred to as a $1.5 trillion tax cut. And, in some ways, that’s true: on net, it would reduce the amount of taxes collected by the federal treasury by about $1.5 trillion over 10 years.

But that figure masks the eye-popping scale and audacity of the GOP’s rushed restructuring of the economy. Most immediately, the plan will take a large chunk out of state and local revenue that isn’t factored into that total. But more broadly, the bill cuts taxes by a full $6 trillion over a decade.”


5 Ways the Republican tax-reform plan hits Black folks the hardest, by Charles D. Ellison, via The Root

“It’s the resurgence of a decades-old hat trick by conservative Republicans to use fiscal policy as a weapon for diabolical political aim. The ‘beast’ is the federal government. This term of snarky elegance appeared during the Reagan years as neocons mandated less government spending through a reduced federal budget, thereby setting up the last big tax overhaul in 1986.

As economist William Cunningham of Creative Investment Research said during an episode of WURD’s Reality Check, ‘This has always been about limiting the federal government’s ability to protect the most marginalized communities. The fewer resources the federal government has, the less responsive it is to the needs of the vulnerable.’”


Republicans are rejecting the official analysis of their tax bill’s cost, by Tara Golshan via Vox

“Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation, the official body tasked with estimating the tax bill’s impact, reported that the Senate Republican’s tax bill would grow the economy by about 0.8 percent over 10 years, and still cost about $1 trillion.

That is a wildly lower growth number than what Republicans have been promising; Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin had said, ‘Not only will this tax plan pay for itself, but it will pay down debt.’ As Republicans hurtle toward a vote on the bill, the report massively undercuts the GOP’s argument for the bill.”


Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz: Trump tax plan to worsen inequality, expand loopholes, via Democracy Now!



"What We're Reading" is a weekly feature on AFSC’s News and Commentary blog, where we share a curated collection of recent articles on timely issues. "What We're Reading" is meant to spark discussion, debate, and knowledge sharing, and the articles we highlight do not necessarily reflect the official organizational positions of AFSC.