Augusta, MAINE – According to a report in the Lewiston Sun Journal, Governor Paul LePage is throwing his weight behind the GOP tax scam that is projected to raise taxes on Maine’s middle-class families, increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion, and jeopardize health care for tens of thousands of people across the state.
Maine Democratic Party Chairman Phil Bartlett issued the following statement calling on Republican gubernatorial candidates to say whether or not they agree with the Governor:
“After years of claiming to be the champion of middle-class Mainers and fiscal responsibility, Governor LePage has proven once and for that he’s not. But at the end of the day LePage is nothing other than a lame duck governor, and it’s his successor who will deal with the terrible ramifications of this bill.
“Do Shawn Moody, Mary Mayhew, Ken Fredette, Mike Thibodeau, and Garrett Mason agree with the Governor that blowing up the deficit and handing over more money to the wealthy elite at the expense of the middle class is the right way to go? Or will they show courage and call on Senator Collins and Congressman Poliquin to go back to the drawing board and ensure that any tax reform bill benefits Maine’s working families the most?”
Despite LePage’s assertion, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that the Senate GOP tax bill, starting in 2019, would leave Americans earning less than $30,000 a year worse off than they are today. And by 2027, most Americans earning under $75,000 a year would pay more in taxes than they do today. In stark contrast, millionaires and billionaires would be better off under the Senate GOP tax bill than they are today.
The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimated that half of American households, and notably 60 percent of middle-class families, would face a tax hike starting in 2027. And the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) showed that, on average, all taxpayers earning $75,000 or less would end up paying more in taxes by 2027 – while American households earning $1 million or more would pay $5.6 billion less in taxes.
On top of this, the Senate GOP tax bill would blow a $1.5 trillion hole in our country’s deficit – allowing Republicans to follow the same “Starve The Beast” playbook they used after the ‘01/’03 Bush tax cuts, where they: 1) pass huge tax breaks claiming they’ll pay for themselves and then 2) use the resulting huge deficits to justify deep cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other benefits vital to middle-class Americans. Republican Speaker Paul Ryan, Senator Marco Rubio, and Senator Orrin Hatch have all said that they intend to cut Medicaire, Medicaid, and Social Security next year as a way to reduce the debt they are creating through this tax bill.
Despite Republicans’ claims – including Senator Susan Collins – that the supposed economic growth their tax bill would generate would pay for their proposed tax giveaways for the rich, 37 out of 38 economists surveyed by the University of Chicago responded that it would not – the resulting debt from the Republican tax plan would substantially grow faster than our country’s economy. Senator Collins was embarrassingly caught in a lie when she incorrectly characterized what economists told her to support this argument.