Commentary: Not Smart, Not Right, and Not Fair

Commentary: Not Smart, Not Right, and Not Fair

On the day the House passed the Republican tax bill, I took to the Floor to oppose the bill.

My colleagues from both parties who opposed this bill did a thorough job illustrating the compelling reasons to oppose it: the regressive nature of the tax cuts, which will mostly flow to the very wealthy, the attacks on the Affordable Care Act which will lead to 13 million more uninsured Americans, the trillions of dollars it will add to the national debt.

I share this opinion, but also had another perspective to offer.

I worked for four decades to build a successful small business in Northern Virginia. So I’ll be honest with you: this bill cuts my taxes.

I still voted against it.

I voted no in part for my constituents, who overwhelmingly opposed this immoral bill, but I also voted no for my employees.

The people we’ve employed over the years are the business. I’ve always tried to treat the women and men who work for me well and pay a living wage. It’s rewarding to see them get married, start families, and chase their dreams.

My employees simply will not benefit from this bill the way that I do.

They will get small cuts that expire, and many will eventually see tax increases. They’ll get a tiny child tax credit, much smaller than the one millionaires get. The cuts for businesses, raising the estate tax threshold to protect families that worth $11 million, and other benefits billionaires will remain after the meager cuts for the middle class expire. Eighty-three percent will go to the wealthiest 1 percent of the country by 2027.

Their kids will be stuck with the tab for the trillions of dollars this bill will add to the national debt, debt which itself may be used to attack Social Security and Medicare soon.

As a member of the Joint Economic Committee I also know that U.S. companies are sitting on $17 trillion in capital. Yet, for some reason, Republicans claim against all evidence and advice from economists that giving these same companies more is going to spur magical levels of growth that will somehow trickle down to working people.

We all want a healthy, vibrant economy, but we'd do better by focusing on workforce development, human capital, building skills, and repairing infrastructure.

Unfortunately, Republicans rejected that path in favor of pursuing tax cuts for people like me at the expense of the middle class.

It isn’t smart, it isn’t right, and it isn’t fair.