Radio Address: Jackson says working-class families shouldn’t suffer so the ultra-rich can get a tax cut

Posted: November 30, 2017 | Senator Jackson, Weekly Radio Address

Hello, this is Senate Democratic Leader Troy Jackson. Thanks for tuning in.

While families in Aroostook County struggle to make ends meet, politicians in D.C. are conspiring to provide huge giveaways to the rich, funded by tax increases on middle class families and cuts to health care for tens of millions of Americans.

The independent Tax Policy Center ran the numbers and reports that more than half of Americans will see their taxes increase as a result of this plan. A survey of 42 top economists overwhelmingly said these tax scams would not foster economic growth, as promised. (But it would still deliver millions to foreign investors, the ultra-wealthy and big corporations.)

The hard truth is, this isn’t a tax reform plan designed with the middle class in mind. This scam was designed to benefit the super-rich donors and obscenely wealthy corporations who have bankrolled the Republican Party.

Now that the GOP is in power, those special interests are demanding Republicans give them a return on their investment. This plan will deepen economic inequality. It will hurt health care for families. It will blow a hole in the federal deficit.

But it didn’t have to be this way.

I’m not here to tell you that America’s tax system is perfect. It’s not. But tax reform at the local, state and national levels should not stack the deck against working families just to line the pockets of the 1 percent. Change should benefit middle class Americans, not rip them off.

Mainers elected to serve in Augusta aren’t as far removed from their constituents as those who serve in Congress. We see our constituents at the grocery store and the Town Hall, the snowmobile club and at our kids’ schools. We talk to them. We know them.

So I am confident in telling you that Mainers aren’t asking for corporate tax relief. They’re asking for relief from property taxes that are making it harder and harder for them to stay in their homes. They’re asking for a fair tax system where everyone pays their fair share — one that allows us to adequately fund local services, schools and health care without further squeezing families who are struggling just to get by.

In Augusta, I have joined my fellow Democrats in fighting for property tax relief, and we’ve delivered. Not because some big corporation or wealthy donor asked me to, but because I know it’s what families need.

We fight because even here in Maine, the scales are tipped in favor of big corporations. For example, The State of Maine manages to make good on multi-million dollar payments to big corporations like Cate Street Capital, which took the money and ran without creating the jobs they promised in exchange for that money. Meanwhile, schools all over our state have been forced to cut teachers and programs for a lack of state funding.

I don’t fault anyone for being successful in business. But the wealthy aren’t struggling in this economy. The middle class is.

Tax policy, like all the other decisions we make in government, is a question of priorities. Democrats will continue to prioritize working families, public schools, local communities and health care. Those are the only special interests we care about.

This is Senate Democratic Leader Troy Jackson. Thanks for listening.