Some of the biggest losers under the Republican tax overhaul include upper-middle class families in high-tax areas like New York City, graduate students, government workers and public school teachers.
The one thing they have in common? They’re mostly Democrats.
President Donald Trump and GOP leaders have promised that the two main goals of a tax code revamp are to benefit middle-class families and to slash the corporate tax rate. But paying for those changes has come in large part at the expense of breaks that are important to residents of high-tax states, which tend to be Democratic.
Benefits used by universities and graduate students are also on the chopping block. And the repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate to buy insurance — a centerpiece of Democrats’ biggest achievement in a generation — is estimated to generate some $300 billion to pay for tax cuts.
“It’s death to Democrats,” said conservative economist Stephen Moore, who advised Trump’s campaign on tax policy.
“They go after state and local taxes, which weakens public employee unions. They go after university endowments, and universities have become play pens of the left. And getting rid of the mandate is to eventually dismantle Obamacare,” Moore said in an interview, arguing that it would accelerate “a death spiral” in the health-care law’s marketplaces.
The tax overhaul represents the GOP-controlled #Congress’s best chance for a policy win this year and looms large in the 2018 congressional elections. Not a single Democrat voted for either the House or the Senate bill. No Democratic amendments were approved in committee or on the floor of either chamber — and the final House-Senate joint product is all but guaranteed to come from Republicans-only negotiations.
“The people who are going get the most whacked by this are wealthy and upper-middle class people who live in big cities,” said John Feehery, a GOP lobbyist and former communicator for House leadership. “In other words, Democrats.”
“I don’t think there’s a conspiracy to go attack Democratic districts. But that’s how the legislative process works — if you’re not going to participate in a game you’re going to lose,” he said. “You need the revenue, and those constituencies are not really being represented because their representatives refused to participate.”
Democratic lawmakers say they were shut out of a rushed process, with scant time to review last-minute changes. In a tweet shared more than 150,000 times, Montana Democratic Senator Jon Tester posted a video of himself describing his party as blindsided by the almost 500-pages of legislation provided by Republicans on Friday evening just hours before the bill passed.