Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act (Part 4)

Congressional Record - Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Part 4

Mr.LARSON of Connecticut. Second, Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record a letter out of a cross section of constituents who are directly and adversely impacted by this tax increase.


Ms. Diane Hebenstreit–West Hartford, CT 06107

I am a lifetime resident of Connecticut, and I ask that you do not vote for the proposed Federal Tax plan. From what I see, it’s providing large tax breaks that benefit the rich and the corporations. The estate tax benefit we have now is more than generous, only the very wealthy will benefit from repealing the estate tax. The proposed caps on state and property tax deductions combined with the increased standard deduction, will cause myself as well as others to use the standard deduction instead of itemizing. This will eliminate the financial benefit of owning my home, and I am concerned it will negatively affect its value.

The personal exemption of $4,050 is going away. This is not something that’s been highlighted in the news. So as a single payer, I’ll receive a $12,000 standard deduction, but loose the $4,050 personal exemption resulting in more of my income being taxed than under the current plan.

And at a higher rate! I am currently in the 10% tax bracket. Under this new plan it will increase to 12%.This is not a tax plan that benefits me, or I expect any other middle income resident. Vote No.

Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record a transcript of an interview with our esteemed chairman, Kevin Brady, and  Heidi Przybyla that appeared on “Morning Joe.”

Kevin Brady-Morning Joe Transcript–Friday, November 3

Heidi Przybyla, USA Today: This economic growth that you all are promising, it cannot happen unless the cuts occur at the same time. In fact the Joint Committee on Taxation’s economic model assumes that the type of tax cuts that you’re doing now that are not paid for could actually be a drag on economic growth. Can you please speak to that?

Brady: The reason we moved back towards a balanced budget is one, there is substantial growth, miss, but again, that won’t do it. You have to simplify the code, eliminate so much

of these special breaks on the business and the individual side as well. It’s the combination of both of those that gets you back to a balanced budget over time. That’s why people complain `Look you’re really simplifying the code dramatically, there’s a lot of things that go’. Not everyone is happy about that but that is what, sort of the tough choices you have to make, along with growth, to make sure this moves us toward a balanced budget.

Przybyla: But that is not what’s happening here. This is still, regardless of these loopholes that you’re closing,  it’s still a big blowhole in the deficit and that is not what the model was in ’86 for instance when Reagan did it. This model that I’m speaking of still assumes that this could be a drag on economic growth because you’re not doing the type of spending cuts, not just simplification in the code, but spending cuts.

Brady: Here, one, there are a number of models on growth and I’m sure there will be a healthy debate, that’s a good thing. What we know is this dramatically grows the economy in revenues not just here in Washington, but state and local levels as well. But you make a great point: tax reform alone, alone won’t get us to a balanced budget; we have to have spending constraints along with that. As I know, as House Republicans, we are turning toward welfare reform and how we tackle our entitlements in a way to save them. That’s all part of the steps it takes to get us back to a fiscally responsible area. But I do know this, is you want to see continued deficits and debts, just stay with a slow growth economy like we saw the last ten years. We know what that produced.

Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Mr. Speaker, I also include in the Record a letter from AARP, who is in opposition to this bill.


November 15, 2017

Dear Representative:
On behalf of our members and all Americans age 50 and older, AARP is writing to express our views on H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. AARP, with its nearly 38 million members in all 50 States and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, represents individuals affected by H.R. 1 in myriad ways. As we did with the last major effort at tax reform a generation ago, AARP is  prepared to support tax legislation that makes the tax code more equitable and efficient, promotes growth, and produces sufficient revenue to pay for critical national programs, including Medicare and Medicaid. However, H.R. 1 in its current form does not meet these criteria.

Efforts to restructure all or part of the federal tax system should in particular recognize the importance of–and therefore maintain–incentives for health and retirement security. Such incentives are not only important to assist individuals in attaining the security they deserve, but are vital to our nation’s future economic well-being AARP is dedicated to enhancing retirement security, including retention of the extra standard deduction for those ages 65 or older improving access to, and targeted incentives for, work-place retirement saving plans, and protection of earned pensions for vulnerable retirees and their families. We greatly appreciate that H.R. 1 rejects proposals to make significant changes to the tax treatment of retirement contributions, which would have affected the ability or commitment of many tax filers to save for their retirement. AARP also remains committed to advocating for affordable, meaningful health care, including retention of the medical expense itemized deduction at 7.5%, preservation of tax exempt status of employer sponsored insurance coverage; maintenance of tax subsidies for lower- and moderate-income Americans to purchase health insurance coverage in health care marketplaces; and the creation of a new, non-refundable tax credit for working family caregivers.

As tax legislation advances, changes to the tax code should not result in a disproportionate, adverse impact on older Americans According to the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT),  H.R. 1 will reduce taxes for millions of taxpayers beginning in 2019. We are concerned, however, that in 2027, also according to JCT, the 73 million taxpayers with incomes between $10,000 and $50,000 would collectively pay $2.9 billion more in individual income taxes AARP has estimated that H.R. 1 will increase taxes on 1.2 million taxpayers age 65 and older in 2018, and by 2027, 4.9 million older taxpayers will experience higher taxes In addition, H.R. 1 will provide no tax relief for 5.1 million older taxpayers in 2018 and 5.3 million taxpayers by 2027.

The impact on older tax filers is the cumulative result of many policy changes made in H.R. 1, but a number of specific provisions disproportionately affect older Americans. Nearly three-quarters of tax filers who claim the medical expense deduction are age 50 or older and live with a chronic condition or illness. Seventy percent of filers who claim this deduction have income below $75,000. H.R. 1 also eliminates the additional standard deduction for filers who are 65 and older, while at the same time increasing the lowest tax rate. These provisions, along with other proposals that more broadly affect the tax liability of millions of filers, such as the expiration of the new Family Flexibility Credit in 2023, and the partial repeal of the state and local tax deduction, result in little tax benefit to many older tax filers, and for others, a tax increase.

Also troubling is the negative effect H.R. 1 will have on the nation’s ability to fund critical priorities. H.R. 1 will increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next ten years, and an unknown amount beyond 2027. The large increase in the deficit will inevitably lead to calls for greater spending cuts, which are likely to include dramatic cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and other critical programs serving older Americans. The Congressional Budget Office has now published a letter stating that unless Congress takes action, H.R. 1 will result in automatic federal funding cuts of $136 billion in fiscal year 2018, $25 billion of which must come from Medicare.

We urge Congress to work in a bipartisan manner to enact tax legislation that better meets the needs of older Americans and the nation, and we stand ready to work with you toward that end.


Nancy A. LeaMond,

Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer


(Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Part 1)

(Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Part 2)

(Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Part 3)

(Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Part 4)



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