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Republican Tax Bill Threatens Benefits for Massachusetts Families

The Massachusetts People’s Budget Campaign today slammed the Republican-led Congress for a $1.5 trillion giveaway for giant corporations and the 1% at the expense of the elderly, working families and the poor.
“While President Trump just signed into law a bill a huge tax break for himself and his billionaire friends and donors, Congress is gearing up to pay for the giveaway by slashing Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security in 2018,” said Paul Shannon of the Massachusetts People’s Budget Campaign. The group organized a December 2 protest at the Apple Store in Boston as part of the national Not One Penny campaign.

The tax bill will add at least a trillion dollars to the federal budget deficit over the next decade, according to nonpartisan Congressional budget offices. House Speaker Ryan and other Congressional Republicans have proposed a minimum $800 billion increase in Pentagon spending, as well. Republican leaders are now calling for “welfare reform”--deep cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and Food Stamps--to pay for this largesse, under the guise of “deficit reduction.” (AP report, Boston Globe 12/20/17)

“The Republican strategy is to create such a massive deficit through tax cuts and Pentagon spending in order to pursue their decades-old goal of wiping out funding for core public programs,” said Dr Joseph Gerson of the American Friends Service Committee. ”Whatever temporary, minor reductions in federal taxes middle income people may see in 2018 will be dwarfed by cuts to health care, education, housing and Social Security in the years ahead. We need to fight this tax scam and budget cuts now.” President Trump and Speaker Ryan are expected to release their proposals to slash social spending in February.

As an alternative, the Massachusetts People’s Budget Campaign urges support for the People’s Budget proposed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which would increase taxes on the 1% and giant corporations and offshore tax havens as an alternative means to reduce the deficit; fully fund vital programs; expand Social Security and health care; hold the line on Pentagon spending and waste; and invest $2 trillion in jobs and infrastructure.

In 2017, five of the nine members of the Massachusetts delegation to the House voted for the People’s Budget (Capuano, McGovern, Clark, Lynch and Kennedy). A vote on the 2018 People’s Budget alternative to Trump and Ryan’s budget cuts is expected in March or April.

The Massachusetts People’s Budget Campaign (formerly the Budget for All Coalition) has organized protests against budget cuts and for the People’s Budget since 2012. The group sponsored the nonbinding Budget for All resolution that passed 3 to 1 in a third of the state in 2012, supported by 80 community, peace and labor groups statewide. Constituent representatives with expertise in housing, transportation, health care, education , military spending and senior issues are available for interviews.

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