Building Political Power

By HENRY GARRIDO

President Donald J. Trump’s tax plan is a dagger aimed at the heart of New York and at working families across the country.

Make no mistake, this is also an attack on public employees and the services they provide.

DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido

By increasing the deficit by more than $1 trillion, the plan is allowing Republicans to argue that the federal government needs to impose deep cuts to programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

These reactionary politicians in Washington, D.C. are dead-set on shredding the country’s safety net. They see this plan as the culmination of a decades-long project to roll back these services. The threat is immediate — and local. For example, here in our city, our public hospitals, already facing deep reductions in federal funding, anticipate additional cuts.

Our retirement security is at risk as Republicans target Social Security and Medicare for reduced benefits. The future of our children and grandchildren — whose lives have already been defined by a changing, harsh economy of disappearing jobs, stagnant wages, unsteady work, a war on unions and skyrocketing inequality — is now more bleak.

By 2027, the top 1 percent will pocket an estimated 83 percent of the tax cut. Hundreds of millions of people who initially received a modest tax break will later see their taxes go up while the cuts for corporations will be permanent.

An estimated 11 million people will lose their healthcare coverage because the tax plan removed the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. This will cause health-care costs to rise.

The tax plan has exposed the greed, cynicism and rot that threatens to erode our democratic institutions.

The millionaire politicians who voted for the plan stand to make out like bandits.

Tax breaks for the real estate industry and the reduction of the tax rate on personal investments will save Trump $11 million to $22 million each year, according to Americans for Tax Fairness. “It’s not good for me, believe me,” Trump, who is not known for his truthfulness, said in September, when Republicans unveiled the plan.

Democratic-leaning and wealthy states like New York and California will be particularly hard hit, reflecting the political intent of the plan. New York’s share of the federal income tax will rise from 6.3 percent to 9.8 percent.

The tax plan caps the federal deduction for state and local taxes at $10,000. That will either starve state and local governments or force them to implement tax increases.
A Moody’s report found that a cap on mortgage interest deductions will cause a decrease in home prices in the suburbs of New York City, as well as the West Coast, South Florida and big mid-Western cities.

The political backlash to Trump’s tax plan and other policies opens up the possibility for regaining control of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate in this year’s mid-term elections.

In this second Gilded Age, it’s time to step up our commitment to fight back.

Henry Garrido is the executive director of District Council 37, which represents 125,000 public service workers in New York City.

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