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Another Voice: Tax plan is a payoff to big contributors

By Michael Kink
Chris Collins got busted on Tuesday. No, Congressman Collins wasn’t arrested.  But tens of thousands of Twitter users across New York and around the country slammed
Collins for an admission he made to reporter Cristina Marcos of the Hill about the controversial GOP tax cut plan.
Collins said, “My donors are basically saying, ‘Get it done or don’t ever call me again.’ ”
Collins was busted for letting out the dirty secret behind the unpopular Republican tax plan that he and other GOP leaders are trying to ram through Congress: It’s a big payoff for wealthy campaign contributors and the multinational corporations whose PACs and super PACs support Collins and his fellow Republicans.
Collins has taken over a million dollars in PAC money over the past two electoral cycles, according to Open Secrets data.
And the big-business PACs that have funded Collins – companies like General Electric, AT&T, Northrup Grumman, Pfizer and Goldman Sachs – do great under the GOP tax proposal.
 Their plan includes new cuts to corporate taxes, new subsidies for outsourcing American jobs, new “pass-through” tax cuts for hedge funds and private equity managers – a grab bag of quid-pro-quo goodies that would make most PAC donors happy.
Hedge fund and private equity billionaires who fund the campaign accounts of GOP leaders Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell do great, too.
Their “carried interest” loophole stays wide open – despite the fact that President Trump campaigned last year saying “the hedge fund guys are getting away with murder,” and promising to close the loophole.
And the heirs and heiresses of the billionaire class do great too – Collins and his colleagues are working to get rid of the current estate tax on fortunes over $11 million, which would allow the sons and daughters of billionaires and corporate CEOs to inherit huge amounts of money with no federal taxes.
But regular people don’t do so great under this bill – which is why public opinion polls show it’s pretty unpopular.
The GOP tax plan and budget include big cuts to health care programs, including Medicaid and Medicare, that many New York families rely on for care.
Cuts to senior services, cuts to care for disabled kids, cuts to treatment for chemical dependency in the midst of a legitimate public health crisis linked to opioid addiction and chemical dependency.
And many middle-class and working-class taxpayers in Western New York could actually have to pay more federal taxes under this plan – all to provide billions of dollars in benefits to Wall Street fund managers and Park Avenue heiresses in Manhattan.
You can see why the big campaign donors would be worried – and why they’d be putting so much pressure on Collins to move the bill.
Regular New Yorkers should be putting the same pressure on him to stop it.
Michael Kink is executive director of the Strong Economy For All Coalition, a labor-community coalition working for a fairer tax system and broader economic prosperity.
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