Early Saturday, the Senate approved, mostly along party lines, a massive tax giveaway to the wealthiest and corporations paid for by students and working families.
In addition to adding $1.5 trillion to the national deficit, the Senate voted to partially repeal the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act, which would leave 13 million Americans uninsured and result in drastic spikes in insurance premiums for millions more. The bill also expands an education tax loophole that would further benefit the wealthy and allow them to set aside money for private school expenses—essentially a voucher program for wealthy families.
Also, as the Washington Post reported, the bill could jeopardize the ability of states and local communities to adequately fund public education, potentially risking state funding for hundreds of thousands of education jobs. The Senate approved the measure even as the non-partisan Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, in a new report titled “A Punishing Decade for School Funding,” found that public investment in K-12 schools has declined dramatically in a number of states over the last decade.
“They will eliminate the state and local deductions for working people but keep it for wealthy corporations. Millions of hard working people will see their taxes increase,” said Lily Eskelsen Garcia, NEA president.
“On top of it all, this bill will take away health care coverage for 13 million Americans and cause premiums to spike for millions more. It could also trigger $25 billion in automatic cuts to Medicare in 2018 alone. In the end, this disastrous bill will push crushing debt and tax increases onto the middle class while Medicare, Medicaid, and education will take the brunt of the cuts.”