Marc Stier, director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, released the following statement on the passage of the U.S. Senate GOP tax bill:
“Budgets are, it is frequently said, moral documents. If that is true, and we believe it is, than the tax plan adopted by the Senate today represents an extreme moral failure on the part of the Republican Party. At a time when incomes are becoming ever more unequal, the Republican tax plan will ultimately make the rich richer and the poor and middle class poorer. It will benefit corporations at the expense of families. And, because of the repeal of the individual mandate, it will cost 13 million people nationwide — and 500,000 in Pennsylvania — health insurance, leading to 1,000 to 2,000 premature deaths in our state alone.
“The Republican attempt to hide the consequence of their tax bill to the deficit by talking of the economic growth it will create is, in two respects, a sham. On the one hand, reputable economic analysts including the Joint Committee on Taxation staff conclude that the economic benefit of tax cuts are far overstated by the Republicans. On the other hand, to the extent that higher deficits do stimulate the economy, new spending on infrastructure, education and health care would be far more beneficial because it would put money in the hands of working people and the middle class who will spend it, not the pockets of the very rich who likely won’t.
“And thus we come back to where we started: this dispute is fundamentally not about different economic theories, but about morality — about whether the benefits of our economy and the work we all do should be broadly shared among the American people or whether it should be concentrated in the hands of the owners of corporations and other large business.”
(The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center is a non-partisan policy research project that provides independent, credible analysis on state tax, budget and related policy matters, with attention to the impact of current or proposed policies on working families. It is a project of the Keystone Research Center and part of the national State Fiscal Analysis Initiative coordinated by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.)