Credo Action

Tell Senate Democrats: No terrible tax cut deals to help big business

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Petition to Senate Democrats

"Passing a series of tax cuts that help businesses, hurt working families, and expand the deficit paving the way for more devastating cuts, is bad policy and worse politics. The Senate Democrats must stand up to Wall Street and not help Republicans rig the tax code even further."

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    Tell Senate Democrats: No terrible tax cut deals to help big business

    Last week, while many Americans were sitting down for a Thanksgiving meal with family, Senate Democrats were preparing a deal with Republicans that would have given permanent tax breaks to big businesses while doing nothing for working families.

    We can all give thanks that the “compromise” appears dead for the moment, following a veto threat from President Obama and objections from House Democrats and progressive champions like Senator Sherrod Brown. But with major tax breaks for big businesses set to expire at the end of the year, Republicans are pushing hard to make them permanent – aided and abetted by the Wall Street wing of the Democratic party.

    Negotiations are ongoing, and a bad deal could reemerge at any moment. So we need to make it absolutely clear that no Democrat should back any proposal that ends up raising taxes for the working poor while providing permanent handouts to big business.

    Tell Senate Democrats: No Terrible Tax Cut Deals.

    Supporters of last week’s near-deal claimed it would have provided permanent help to families with children in college and workers with commuting costs. But these provisions were grossly outweighed by the rest of the package, which no Democrat had any business supporting.

    First, the potential deals ignore and hurt working families and the poor. A few years ago, Congress expanded the Earned Income Tax Credit, which provides a tax refund for the working poor, and the Child Tax Credit, which helps families with children. The deal discussed last week would have allowed these provisions to expire in 2017, even as made major tax cuts for business permanent. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, scaling back these tax credits would reduce the income of 50 million Americans with low incomes, including 31 million children, and push 16 million Americans and 8 million children into poverty – or even deeper into poverty.1

    Second, the deals under discussion mostly help big business – except businesses that Republicans hate, like renewable energy. The set of tax breaks in question were never meant to be permanent. Shoehorned into the 2012 fiscal cliff deal and renewed periodically since, this grab bag of 70-some temporary tax cuts cover everything from racehorse owners to NASCAR to Fortune 500 companies.2 Some proposals, like expanding tax credits for research and development, have bipartisan support. The deal would have extended many of these nonsensical tax cuts and made others permanent – even while killing the wind energy tax credit that helps fuel the transition to a green economy.

    Third, such a deal would expand the deficit, paving the way for more heartless budget cuts. Democrats have made strides repairing the Bush-era and financial-crash damage to the federal books and brought the deficit to historically low levels. One of the primary reasons is that Democrats partially repealed the Bush tax cuts for the top earners, adding $770 billion in tax revenues from the “fiscal cliff” deal. But the deal discussed last week would have cost $409 billion, without making up the lost revenue – once again expanding the deficit.3 Since Wall Street Democrats and Republicans use the deficit as an excuse to cut spending on roads, schools, healthcare, research, and the poor, a deal like this would set the country up for more painful and deadly cuts.

    Tell Senate Democrats: No Terrible Tax Cut Deals.

    Last but not least, a deal like this would set a horrible precedent moving forward. Republicans have promised to make any future tax reform compromises revenue neutral – offsetting any tax increases with tax cuts elsewhere. But this deal would have locked in over $400 billion in tax cuts that would not have to be paid for. Instead, the growing deficit would be an excuse to make cuts elsewhere in the months to come. Essentially, Wall Street and corporate interests were trying to rig the game so that any tax reform deal came out ahead.

    We need to call this deal what it is: not a compromise on “tax extenders” when those tax cuts were about to expire, but a fresh handout to big business at the expense of working families. Most importantly, we need to make it clear that any “deal” that looks remotely like this one should be dead on arrival in the Democratic caucus moving forward.

    Tell Senate Democrats: No Terrible Tax Cut Deals.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    1. Chuck Marr and Robert Greenstein, "Tax Extenders Package Is Fundamentally Flawed," Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, November 25, 2014.
    2. Rob Garver,"House Poised to Kick the Can Again on Tax Extenders - See more at: http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2014/12/02/House-Poised-Kick-Can-Again-Tax-Extenders#sthash.fRiGDIO7.dpuf," The Fiscal Times, December 2, 2014.
    3. Chuck Marr and Robert Greenstein, “Tax Extenders Package Is Fundamentally Flawed.”