Tell Rob Portman to Vote No On the Trump Tax Scam

Republican leaders in the Senate released a new Senate version of the Trump Tax Scam that includes a repeal of the individual mandate. Repealing the individual mandate, which requires that every American have health insurance or pay a penalty, was the centerpiece of the Republicans’ failed effort to pass the “skinny repeal” bill in the Senate in July. Numerous major health care groups have come out stronglyagainst the idea of repealing the individual mandate, saying that it will lead to “a significant increase in premiums, which would in turn substantially increase the number of uninsured Americans.” And that’s on top of the massive, permanent corporate tax cut the Republicans want to pay for by putting an expiration date on parts of the scam they say help the middle class.

That means that, more than ever, the tax fight = the health care fight and the health care fight = the tax fight. We know the game plan from the last time we beat them on health care. We need massive constituent pressure on Republicans to tell them to reject the Trump Tax Scam. Call your Republican MoC and tell them: no tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of everyone else. NO to the Trump Tax Scam.

Call Rob Portman:

DC: 202-224-3353
Cincinnati: 513-684-3265
Cleveland: 216-522-7095
Columbus: 614-469-6774
Toledo: 419-259-3895

Script:

Caller: Hello! My name is [NAME] and I live in [PART OF STATE]. I’m calling to let Senator Portman know that I strongly oppose the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The bill has NOT gone through regular order, and it will cause hundreds of thousands of Ohioans to lose their health insurance coverage and drive up premiums for everyone else.

Staffer: Senator Portman is undecided on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. He thinks it is important that we reform our broken, complex tax code so that middle-class families can benefit.

Caller: This tax bill won’t do anything to simplify the tax code, or make it better for middle class families. Premiums in Ohio will go up by over $1,400 if this tax bill passes, and over 716,000 Ohio families will see a tax increase! Senator Portman didn’t stand up for his constituents in the fight to repeal Obamacare, but he has the opportunity to make that right this time.

Staffer: I’ll pass your thoughts along to the Senator.

Caller: Yes please do, and please take down my contact information so you can let me know what the Senator decides to do.

New calling resources for GOP #TaxScam – Call today!

Today we are highlighting a good, concise explainer and call script from our friends at 5calls.

The House is set to vote for their tax plan on Thursday, Nov. 16th. Senate Republicans have also released their own tax reform plan. While the details of the Senate bill remain in flux, it shares the House core goal of providing a tax giveaway to millionaires while offering little or no benefit to middle- and lower-income consumers.

The goal of the House Republicans’ tax reform plan, dubbed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, is clear: to provide corporations and the ultra-wealthy as many tax breaks as possible. The bill would permanently lower the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20%, gradually phase out the estate tax (which only applies to estates with greater than $5.6 million in assets), and eliminate the alternative minimum tax (AMT) immediately. The AMT only applies to people who make more than roughly $130,000 a year; Trump paid an additional $31 million in taxes solely because of the AMT in 2005. Meanwhile, this plans offers no tax breaks to the bottom 35% of Americans and will increase the deficit by a whopping $1.5 trillion over the next decade.

To pay for these tax cuts for the wealthy and big businesses, the GOP plans to eliminate a multitude of itemized tax deductions that typically offer relief to middle-class consumers, including deductions for student loan interest, adoption costs, moving expenses, alimony payments, and extremely high medical costs. Additionally, it would eliminate exemptions for dependent children and personal exemptions. While the bill would increase the standard deduction to make up for the elimination of itemized deductions, the increase is only about 15% when accounting for the loss of the dependent and personal exemptions. The larger standard deduction also means that middle-class consumers have less of an incentive to donate to charity, hurting non-profit charitable organizations in the process.

The GOP claims that their plan is designed to cut taxes for the middle class, but it is clear that their primary goal is helping the wealthy avoid paying their fair share in taxes. If implemented, these changes would result in the transfer of wealth from the working class to the rich and will continue to exacerbate income inequality in this country.

Call Mike Turner and demand that he vote NO on any tax bill that prioritizes the wealthy and corporations over his constituents across District 10.

  • Call Mike Turner at 202-225-6465

Script:

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from Dayton.

I’m calling to express my opposition to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. It is clear this bill is designed to benefit the ultra-wealthy and corporations while providing minimal benefits to most middle-class households. I ask that Rep.  Turner oppose this truly unfair and harmful tax plan.

Thank you for your time and attention.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

 

Thank you to our friends at 5calls for today’s #TaxScam resources

GOP #Taxscam targets ALL OF US. CALL TODAY with our script.

The proposed tax legislation being considered by our representatives is the biggest assault on the poor and middle class, and the biggest giveaway to the wealthy our country has ever entertained.

Today, we will focus on how this legislation is bad for almost everyone.

First, the GOP’s plan phases out the Estate Tax, something that only affects about 5,000 people per year who are passing on an estate of more than $5.49 million.  This will cost taxpayers $172 BILLION over the next decade.

Second, the GOP plan would cause far fewer homeowners to take the mortgage interest deduction.  By tampering with the standard deduction and state and local tax deduction (SALT), the percentage of Americans eligible for the mortgage interest deduction would fall from 23.3% to just 7%.

Third, “The House tax bill… preserves the carried interest tax break — paid to private-equity managers, venture capitalists, hedge fund managers and certain real estate investors — despite President Donald Trump and GOP leaders’ promise to do away with loopholes for the wealthy.”

This monstrosity will add at least $1.5 TRILLION to the debt over the next ten years, which will trigger a fiscal crisis that Republicans will use to demand massive cuts to the social safety net: Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, as well as SNAP, housing assistance, and their favorite boogey man: the Affordable Care Act.

 

 

What could we do with this money instead?

 

Republican donors are demanding these tax proposals. We can stop them. 

Call your Members of Congress and demand that they vote NO on any tax bill that seeks to give breaks to corporations and the wealthy at the expense of average Americans.

  • Call Mike Turner at 202-225-6465
  • Call Rob Portman at 202-224-3353
  • Call Sherrod Brown at 202-224-2315

Script:  “Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m calling from [ADDRESS].  I am calling today to demand that [NAME] vote NO on the GOP proposed tax plan.  The audacity of retaining loopholes for hedge fund managers while cutting the credits and deductions that average Americans rely on is truly alarming.  I demand that my representatives in government work on behalf of their constituents, not their donors.  It is obvious that the provisions in this tax plan cater to corporate interests, not those of the constituents in Dayton who are struggling to make ends meet.  I will be watching this vote closely.”

GOP #Taxscam targets Veterans. CALL TODAY with our script.

The proposed tax legislation being considered by our representatives is the biggest assault on the poor and middle class, and the biggest giveaway to the wealthy our country has ever entertained.

Today, we will focus on one targeted group: Veterans.

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit provides tax relief to small business owners who hire individuals from targeted groups (with veterans being one of the target groups).  The central idea behind the program is that getting a job helps break the vicious cycle affecting these individuals, who often find that a lack of job experience prevents them getting hired.  Arguably, the program saves taxpayers some money, through reduced need for services by these newly hired individuals.  An employed person is less likely to require other government subsidized programs for assistance with food, shelter, healthcare, etc.

Republicans now seek to eliminate this credit.  

Call your Members of Congress and demand that they vote NO on any tax bill that seeks to give breaks to corporations and the wealthy at the expense of those who have served in the armed forces.

  • Call Mike Turner at 202-225-6465
  • Call Rob Portman at 202-224-3353
  • Call Sherrod Brown at 202-224-2315

Script:  “Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m calling from [ADDRESS].  I am calling today to demand that [NAME] vote NO on any tax bill that eliminates the Work Opportunity tax credit.  This has helped bring unemployment among veterans to a record low.  I can’t understand why GOP lawmakers such as [NAME] would try to enrich the already wealthy at the expense of those who volunteered to protect our freedoms. I will be watching this vote closely.”

GOP #Taxscam targets the sick, disabled and elderly. CALL TODAY with our script.

The proposed tax legislation being considered by our representatives is the biggest assault on the poor and middle class, and the biggest giveaway to the wealthy our country has ever entertained.

Today, we will focus on one targeted group: the ill, disabled, and elderly.

Under current law, the IRS allows individuals to deduct qualified medical expenses that exceed 10 percent of a person’s adjusted gross income for the year.  Individuals are permitted to deduct preventative care, treatment, surgeries and dental and vision care as qualifying medical expenses.  The medical expense deduction can also be used for long-term care expenses for chronically ill patients.  Approximately 6% of Americans take advantage of this critical deduction, with a significant percentage being older Americans living in nursing care facilities.

Republicans now seek to eliminate these deductions. 

Current law allows small businesses to take a partial tax credit for the cost to accommodate disabled workers, including removing physical barriers, buying equipment or even hiring interpreters or providing audio devices for people with hearing problems.  Small businesses can also get a tax credit for improvements related to making their business more accessible. This credit has been essential for, among other things, pushing back against business claims that it’s just too expensive to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). With legislation pending in congress that makes the ADA optional, this tax credit becomes even more important.

Republicans now seek to eliminate these credits. 

Call your Members of Congress and demand that they vote NO on any tax bill that seeks to give breaks to corporations and the wealthy at the expense of disabled and sick Americans.

  • Call Mike Turner at 202-225-6465
  • Call Rob Portman at 202-224-3353
  • Call Sherrod Brown at 202-224-2315

Script:  “Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m calling from [ADDRESS].  I am calling today to demand that [NAME] vote NO on any tax bill that eliminates deductions for medical expenses and critical nursing home care.  We can’t possibly be expected to give breaks to businesses with record profits while shouldering the burden of catastrophic health costs.  We should also recognize our responsibility to ALL Americans by retaining credits for hiring the disabled and making businesses more accessible.  These credits have been crucial to small business owners and to countless disabled Americans.  I am closely watching the tax legislation and your vote.”

GOP #Taxscam targets Adoption. CALL TODAY with our script.

The proposed tax legislation being considered by our representatives is the biggest assault on the poor and middle class, and the biggest giveaway to the wealthy our country has ever entertained.

Today, we will focus on one targeted group: families who adopt our neediest kids.

In 2014, 50,644 foster kids were adopted — a number that has stayed roughly consistent for the past five years. The average age of a waiting child is 7.7 years old and 29% of them will spend at least three years in foster care.  In addition to foster kids, there are tens of thousands of adoptions each year of international children, family members, and other needy kids.

An adoption can cost as much as $40,000 if a family uses a private agency, according to a survey from Adoptive Families Magazine.  The adoption tax credit allows families to claim more than $13,000 in expenses related to an adoption.  Even though it is capped and based on income, it generously allows families to carry forward some expenses into the next five tax years.

Republicans now seek to eliminate these deductions.  

(Even CONSERVATIVES are hopping mad about this one, as it seems to contradict the GOP’s staunchly “pro-life” stance)

Call your Members of Congress and demand that they vote NO on any tax bill that penalizes families who seek to give needy kids loving homes.

  • Call Mike Turner at 202-225-6465
  • Call Rob Portman at 202-224-3353
  • Call Sherrod Brown at 202-224-2315

Script:  “Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m calling from [ADDRESS].  I am calling today to demand that [NAME] vote NO on any tax bill that eliminates the adoption tax credit.  This credit is vital to the hundreds of thousands of families who seek to adopt each year, and for the more than 100,000 children in foster care, waiting to be adopted.  I can not imagine how a party that claims to be “pro-life” could possibly make parenthood out of financial reach for those who seek to adopt our neediest children.  The adoption tax credit is the financial tool that makes parenthood possible for thousands of families.  It must be preserved.  I will be watching this vote closely.”

 

Note: this CTA was written by someone who was adopted, and knows first hand the struggle some families go through financially to adopt.

 

 

GOP #Taxscam targets Teachers and students. CALL TODAY with our script.

The proposed tax legislation being considered by our representatives is the biggest assault on the poor and middle class, and the biggest giveaway to the wealthy our country has ever entertained.

Today, we will focus on one targeted group: students and teachers.

We all know a teacher who supplies her classroom with hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars of equipment, all out-of-pocket.  This speaks to inadequate school funding, but at least teachers have been able to  enjoy some tax breaks for purchasing supplies with their own money.

Republicans now seek to eliminate these deductions. 

Likewise, we all know a student who has taken out a loan of some type to obtain a degree or certificate.  Education is the silver bullet, leading to higher incomes, better health, and more engaged citizenship.  While the cost of higher education is certainly an issue in and of itself, at least students have been able to take advantage of a tax deduction on their loan interest payments.  12 million people rely on this deduction to reduce their tax burden while repaying their loans.

Republicans now seek to eliminate these deductions.  

Call your Members of Congress and demand that they vote NO on any tax bill that seeks to give breaks to corporations and the wealthy at the expense of students and teachers.

  • Call Mike Turner at 202-225-6465
  • Call Rob Portman at 202-224-3353
  • Call Sherrod Brown at 202-224-2315

Script:  “Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m calling from [ADDRESS].  I am calling today to demand that [NAME] vote NO on any tax bill that eliminates deductions for teachers who supply their students out-of-pocket, and for students who are paying back crushing loan debt.  We simply MUST invest in education, and not give more money to corporations with record profits.  I will be watching this vote closely.”

The best way to #Resist is to #Vote.

All of the energy we have harnessed since last November’s disastrous election is about to pay off.  After we picked ourselves up off of bathroom and kitchen floors on the morning of November 9th, we vowed: “Never again.”  Right now, you have an opportunity to make good on that promise.

Early voting has begun for this election, so now is the time to make a plan.

Do you need to know the available dates and times for early in person voting?  Click here.

Do you need an absentee ballot?  Click here.

Do you need to look up your polling location? Click here.

Do you want to volunteer to get out the vote for local progressive candidates?  One option is to contact the Montgomery County Democratic Party, M-F, 9a-2p at this number:  (937) 222-4007.  There are options to canvass for candidates on upcoming weekends.

Whatever you do, be sure to vote.  We must build the bench by electing strong local officials!

 

Trump’s EPA continues to destroy 45 year legacy of Protection

“Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, stripped a half-dozen scientists and academics of advisory positions Tuesday and issued new rules barring anyone who receives E.P.A. grant money from serving on panels that counsel the agency on scientific decisions.

The move will effectively bar a large number of academic researchers, many of them experts in fields ranging from toxicology to epidemiology, from advising the E.P.A. on scientific matters, since the agency is one of the largest funders of environmental research.

Mr. Pruitt was expected to appoint several industry representatives to the panels. He did not impose any new restrictions to prevent them from offering advice on environmental regulations that may affect their businesses.”

More from the New York Times coverage here.

In addition to the nightmarish cast of nominees for top EPA positions, the Trump Administration has been chipping away at our environmental legacy by trying to subvert the rule making process, and changing internal agency procedures that are not subject to public comment or congressional oversight.

Unfortunately there is little we can do to directly influence some of these steps, but today, we offer a few ideas for effective resistance.

First, call our Members of Congress to voice your disappointment and alarm.

  • Call Mike Turner at 202-225-6465
  • Call Rob Portman at 202-224-3353
  • Call Sherrod Brown at 202-224-2315

Script:  “Hi, my name is [NAME] and i’m calling from [ADDRESS].  I am extremely disappointed with Scott Pruitt’s recent decision to politicize EPA science advisory panel rules, and to inject industry influence into what was once a purely scientific process.  I am concerned that his move to bar scientists and install industry allies will compromise the health and well-being of my family and my neighbors in the Miami Valley.  Please exercise any and all Congressional oversight of Mr. Pruitt’s actions and restore the science to our science advisory panels.”

Next, we all must read up on resisting agency actions, which are different than Congressional actions.

Visit this website and download a guide aimed at equipping all of us to effectively push back against Scott Pruitt’s radical changes to the EPA.  This guide describes the various parts of the rule making process that we can target to slow things down and register our displeasure.

Let us know in the comments what some of your top environmental issues of concern are, and how you would like to see our group mobilize on them!

 

GO. VOTE.

All of the energy we have harnessed since last November’s disastrous election is about to pay off.  After we picked ourselves up off of bathroom and kitchen floors on the morning of November 9th, we vowed: “Never again.”  Right now, you have an opportunity to make good on that promise.

Early voting has begun for this election, so now is the time to make a plan.

Do you need to know the available dates and times for early in person voting?  Click here.

Do you need an absentee ballot?  Click here.

Do you need to look up your polling location? Click here.

Do you want to volunteer to get out the vote for local progressive candidates?  One option is to contact the Montgomery County Democratic Party, M-F, 9a-2p at this number:  (937) 222-4007.  There are options to canvass for candidates on upcoming weekends.

Whatever you do, be sure to vote.  We must build the bench by electing strong local officials!