When 800,000 Iowans voted for Donald Trump, they sent a signal to Washington they were sick and tired of special interests stacking the deck against middle class families. Apparently, Congressman Rod Blum and President Trump didn’t get that message.
As Washington Republicans roll out their proposed tax cuts for the rich, Iowans are taking another shot at sending that message to Rep. Blum. As a congressman representing one of the most purple congressional districts in the country, Blum is among a handful of lawmakers with the power to stop Beltway insiders from letting corporations and the well-connected rewrite the tax rules to give themselves even more breaks. He has an obligation to do so.
Despite President Trump’s promise to drain the swamp, he’s stacked his tax-writing ‘gang’ with multimillionaires and Wall-Street insiders. As a result, their tax plan is chock-full of special goodies for the wealthiest Americans. Their proposal to eliminate the estate tax will benefit the 344 richest families in America, who each will get a tax cut to the tune of $20 million. It would cut the corporate tax rate and further reward corporate insiders for cutting wages and shipping jobs overseas.
These cuts come on top of a proposal to tax the retirement savings of middle class workers and cut the standard mortgage deduction, all while raising tax rates for middle-class families.
Blum has so far gone along with this plan. He’s basked in the approval of big business groups. And he’s accepted television ads they’ve run thanking him for helping to fatten their wallets. This shouldn’t be surprising, given he’s one of the millionaires who will benefit from these tax cuts for the wealthy. He also voted for Trumpcare, which would have taken health insurance from 146,000 Iowans to pay for huge tax cuts for people in his income bracket.
That’s why ‘Not One Penny’ is taking the fight to Blum and holding him accountable for his failure to protect working-class Iowans. He might be OK with proposed tax breaks for millionaires. But those cuts will do nothing for parents struggling to afford a four-year education, or seniors choosing between rent or overpriced medications.
Draining the swamp isn’t about helping the wealthy further stack the deck in their favor. It’s about investing in working people and not undermining Social Security and Medicare. This isn’t a partisan issue, half of conservatives say corporations pay too little in taxes while the majority of Americans oppose cutting taxes for high income individuals. The plan D.C. Republicans are rolling out isn’t tax reform, it’s tax cuts for those who need them least.
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Like most Americans, Iowans think government should look out for working families and small businesses. They’re fed up with politicians who go to Washington and lose sight of that. Blum might have forgotten that fact. But I’m sure Iowans won’t forget if he chooses his wealthy friends and donors over his constituents.
• Nicole Gill is executive director of Tax March.