As a Minnesotan working in Washington, I frequently talk about politics with my friends and family back home. From my aunts and uncles to my cousins and former classmates, I hear the same complaint from people on both sides of the aisle: We need fewer politicians who put the rich above the rest of us.
As someone who talks about economic policy all day, every day, I couldn’t agree more. That’s why it could not be more clear to me that the tax law Republicans enacted last year — which fundamentally reshaped our tax code — was a blatant act of corruption that actively hurts families like mine back home.
While the tax law overwhelmingly benefits multinational corporations, special interest groups and wealthy donors, it actually hurts the middle-class families and small businesses Republicans repeatedly promised it would help — and Republicans keep lying about it.
But with the midterm elections just two months away, Minnesotans from across the state have an opportunity to vote against a corrupt tax code and the Republicans on the ballot who support it.
So while wealthy donors and Wall Street executives see billions in new tax savings, President Donald Trump has made it even harder for working families to make ends meet and threatened massive cuts to government spending, even eliminating upcoming raises for 2 million public servants.
Erodes government revenue
And rather than funding the public schools my sister teaches in, where educators are woefully underpaid and often forced to buy supplies their schools can’t afford, the tax law further erodes government revenue that helps our students learn within and outside of the classroom. With the federal debt set to increase by trillions in the coming years, future generations will pay the price with even more cuts to these critically needed programs like public education and Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.
Instead of supporting small businesses like my parents’ gift shop or charitable organizations that help local communities thrive, Republicans changed the tax code to benefit multinational corporations that continue laying off employees and shipping jobs overseas. In fact, more than 7,500 workers have been laid off in Minnesota since this law was passed.
Yet, 15 Republican members of the committee who wrote the law and another 53 Republicans in Congress who voted for it actually voted to enrich themselves. One particularly egregious example: Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan bought a multimillion-dollar yacht the same day he voted in favor of the tax law, which gave him an estimated $2.1 million in savings.
Effects on health care
And when it comes to affordable health care, members of the Republican Party supported a law that strips at least 13 million Americans of their health care and gives billions to big pharmaceutical companies that continue to raise costs. The repercussions are so bad that even members of Trump’s own Cabinet have admitted that this tax law will raise health care costs on millions of families.
That kind of greed and corruption isn’t just reprehensible, it shows just how morally bankrupt the Republican Party has become.
So instead of staying silent or staying home in November, Minnesotans need to head to the polls to fight for economic justice and against this shamelessly corrupt tax law. Our families’ health and financial security, not to mention our economy, are at stake — so speak out, show up, and vote.
Ryan Thomas is a communications strategist and works as a spokesperson for Not One Penny, a coalition of progressive groups organizing against Republicans’ tax law.
WANT TO ADD YOUR VOICE?
If you’re interested in joining the discussion, add your voice to the Comment section below — or consider writing a letter or a longer-form Community Voices commentary. (For more information about Community Voices, see our Submission Guidelines.)