Where’s Erik Paulsen?

Our Representative in Congress hasn’t held a public town hall since September 6, 2011. There’ve been last minute meetings announced on social media shortly before they happen, tele-town halls where questions can be vetted before being forwarded, appearances at local businesses and school, robocalls that come to you saying he’s sorry you weren’t there to take his invitation to the tele-townhalls — but no traditional town hall.

It’s been 2,236 days since Rep. Paulsen’s last public town hall.

A Zillionaire’s Solution: Tax the Rich and Save the Economy

The following article by Nick Hanauer was posted on the Politico website October 11, 2017:

The Republican tax plan is a scam that won’t create jobs, contrary to what Trump says.

The Republican tax plan is a scam—a massive and destructive financial giveaway masquerading as pro-growth tax reform. Which is why our first response must be to demand not one penny of tax cuts for big corporations and rich guys like me. In fact, if I were Benevolent Dictator, I would substantially raise taxes on myself and my wealthy friends. Why? It is the only way to sustainably grow the economy, boost productivity, increase business opportunities, and create more and better jobs.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: That’s crazy talk! For decades, rich guys like me have been selling you tax cuts on the merits of pure economic stimulus. The rich are “job creators,” we’ve told you. The more money and incentives we wealthy few have to invest in creating jobs, the better the economy is for everybody—especially you.

GOP-Trump Tax Framework Would Provide Richest One Percent in Minnesota with 62.2 Percent of the State’s Tax Cuts

The following article was posted on the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy website October 4, 2017:

The “tax reform framework” released by the Trump administration and congressional Republican leaders on September 27 would not benefit everyone in Minnesota equally. The richest one percent of Minnesota residents would receive 62.2 percent of the tax cuts within the state under the framework in 2018. These households are projected to have an income of at least $632,000 next year. The framework would provide them an average tax cut of $65,780 in 2018, which would increase their income by an average of 2.5 percent.

The framework would particularly benefit those with incomes greater than $1 million. These households will make up just 0.7 percent of Minnesota’s population but would receive 55.2 percent of the tax cuts if the plan was in effect next year. This group would receive an average tax cut of $78,600 in 2018 alone, which would increase their income by an average of 2.8 percent. Read More

For Republican Leaders in Congress, the Headaches Keep Mounting

The following article by Jonathan Martina and Alexander Burns was posted on the New York Times website October 5, 2017:

Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, and other Republican leaders in Congress are facing pressure from all sides of their party leading up to next year’s midterm elections. Credit Pete Marovich for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Republican leaders in Congress are under attack from all sides of their own party, battered by voters from the right and left, spurned by frustrated donors and even threatened by the Trump White House for ineffective leadership and insufficient loyalty.

Since last week, Senate Republicans lost one of their own when Roy S. Moore, the firebrand former state judge, trounced Senator Luther Strange in a Senate runoff in Alabama. The retirement of Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee kicked off a potentially fratricidal fight for his seat, with the establishment’s preferred successor, Gov. Bill Haslam, declining to run on Thursday. Read More

3 Things You Need to Know About Trump’s Tax Plan

The following was posted on the TrumpAccountable.org website October 5, 2017:

The Trump Tax Plan is gaining steam and momentum even as natural disasters and the horrific events of this weekend in Las Vegas have changed the national dialogue. Here are three things you need to be watching on taxes:

Growth Projections and Deficit – In addition to the disastrous outcome of the Kansas/Brownback tax cut disaster, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget argues that there is no way that tax cuts will pay for themselves and that lowering taxes will lead to more deficit spending. “Past tax cuts in 1981 and the early 2000s have led to widening budget deficits and lower revenue, not the reverse as some claim.” Increased deficits represent a significant challenge to the U.S. economy and any tax plans advanced by the Republicans need to help reduce the deficit. Read More

Republicans Face Messaging Battle on Tax Overhaul

The following article by Joe Williams was posted on the Roll Call website October 4, 2017:

Health care defeat spurs heightened awareness of the upcoming messaging battle on taxes

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have unveiled a framework for their tax measure and already face a messaging battle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The messaging battle over a pending overhaul of the U.S. tax code has begun. And while Republicans say they feel confident they will overcome the opposition this time around, a lingering defeat on health care continues to concern proponents.

The administration and congressional GOP leaders last week unveiled a framework for the still unreleased tax legislation. It immediately set off a cascade of reaction — positive and negative — as Republicans labeled it a middle-class tax break and Democrats called it a giveaway for the rich.

It is round two of a clash over the major tenets of the GOP agenda. Read More

Republicans Are Reconsidering Full Repeal of State and Local Tax Deduction

The following article by Alan Rappeport and Jim Tankersley was posted on the New York Times website October 3, 2017:

Representative Kevin Brady, Republican of Texas and chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, acknowledged that full repeal of the popular state and local tax deduction would be a “nonstarter” with many Republicans in Congress. Credit Al Drago for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Republican leaders are backing away from a proposal to fully repeal an expensive tax break used by more than 40 million tax filers to deduct state and local taxes amid pushback from fellow lawmakers whose residents rely on the popular provision.

The state and local tax deduction is estimated to cost $1.3 trillion over the next decade and its repeal is central to paying for a sweeping tax rewrite unveiled last week by Republican lawmakers and administration officials. But elimination of the provision has emerged as a flash point in the nascent debate over the plan, with Republicans in high-tax states worried about backlash from residents who could see their tax bills rise. Read More

Ryan won’t guarantee every middle-class person will get a tax cut under Trump proposal

The following article by Rebecca Savransky was posted on the Hill website October 1, 2017:

Speaker Paul Ryan
© Greg Nash

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Sunday wouldn’t guarantee that every middle-class person would get a tax cut under President Trump’s tax reform proposal.

“That’s the purpose of doing this,” Ryan said on CBS’s “Face The Nation.” “The purpose of this is to get a middle-class tax cut.”

Ryan was pressed on whether that was a guarantee that every middle-class person would get a tax cut under the president’s plan. Read More

Trump Tax Plan Benefits Wealthy, Including Trump

The following article by Binyamin Appelbaum was posted on the New York Times website September 27, 2017:

President Trump spoke about his administration’s tax reform plan in Indianapolis on Wednesday. Credit Tom Brenner/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The tax plan that the Trump administration outlined on Wednesday is a potentially huge windfall for the wealthiest Americans. It would not directly benefit the bottom third of the population. As for the middle class, the benefits appear to be modest.

The administration and its congressional allies are proposing to sharply reduce taxation of business income, primarily benefiting the small share of the population that owns the vast majority of corporate equity. President Trump said on Wednesday that the cuts would increase investment and spur growth, creating broader prosperity. But experts say the upside is limited, not least because the economy is already expanding. Read More

To make their tax plan work, Republicans eye a favorite blue-state break

The following article by Michael DeBonis was posted on the Washington Post website September 16, 2017:

President Trump pauses during a meeting with congressional leaders and administration officials on tax reform in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Sept. 5, 2017. From left, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas). (Evan Vucci/AP)

As long as there has been a federal income tax, taxpayers have been able to deduct most of the state and local taxes they pay from earnings subject to Uncle Sam’s grasp. But that deduction — especially popular in states rich in Democratic voters — could disappear as soon as next year if President Trump and congressional Republicans succeed in their promised rewrite of the tax code.

The state and local tax deduction, or SALT, has long been a target for tax-policy wonks who see it as an unwise federal subsidy that is mainly claimed by the wealthy. But politics have always intervened: Thanks to the opposition of lawmakers in high-tax states, the deduction has survived every effort to clear out loopholes, including the last federal tax overhaul of similar ambition in 1986.

Now, Republican leaders have made clear the SALT deduction is on the table, and it has shaken up a number of blue-state GOP legislators who are warning that it could derail the ambitious tax plan Trump is now pushing. Read More