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America Votes Coalition And NH Democrats Praise Win in Special House Election

Coalition members engaged members and voters in today’s
special 
House election in Wolfeboro

ConcordNH – America Votes New Hampshire is a permanent progressive coalition including some of New Hampshire’s most powerful advocacy organizations working together to increase issue majorities and secure public policy advancements for working families across the state. Tonight, the coalition celebrates the special election win by Edith DesMarais in the New Hampshire House District Carroll 6 special election. The election saw extremely high turnout, around twenty-six percent, emphasizing the importance of comprehensive voter education and communication. 

“Our partners represent a broad economic and social justice agenda,” said Paula Hodges, America Votes NH State Director. “They fight for good jobs, quality healthcare, a clean environment, a strong public education system, voting rights and civil and human rights.  We are proud to have supported Representative-elect DesMarais, who supports these values and worked very diligently in her campaign to secure her position in the House to move New Hampshire forward.”

The America Votes coalition reached out to an estimated total of 1,969 members and voters in the district via phonebanks, canvasses, direct mail, and digital outreach.

Founded in 2003, America Votes-New Hampshire and coalition partners have played a major role in identifying voters and engaging them in civic participation based on their top issue concerns. Partner organizations who participated in the special election programs this May include America Votes New HampshireGranite State ProgressLegislative Majority PAC (The Independent Expenditure arm of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee ), Let America Vote, and SEA/SEIU Local 1984.


The NH Democratic Party also praised the win in Wolfeboro citing grassroots organizing and the rejection of the Sununu / Trump agenda.

New Hampshire House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff issued the following statement:

“We are pleased to see that Democrats are showing up, working hard, and turning out with a renewed sense of purpose. As Democrats, we will continue to fight for every seat in every district of the state. We congratulate and welcome Representative-elect Edie DesMarais to the New Hampshire House.”

NHDP Chair Ray Buckley issued the following statement:

“This is an important night for Democrats in New Hampshire and across the country. With hard work at the grassroots level and a positive message about Democratic ideals, we took back a seat previously held by a Republican. Democrats showed tonight that, in 2017 and beyond, we will reject the reckless and irresponsible policies of Donald Trump and Chris Sununu. It is only appropriate that New Hampshire, the home of the first in the nation primary, would deliver the first seat in the country to flip from red to blue in a working class town like Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.”

DNC Chair Tom Perez released the following statement:

“To rebuild the Democratic party, we need to win from the school board to the Senate. No seat is too small, and to be competitive we have to get back to the basics of grassroots organizing as a party. Last night, two Democratic women won upset victories in down-ballot races where Trump won by a large margin, and held on to a key Democratic seat in New York. They did it by talking to every voter. As President Trump and Republicans across the nation push budgets and policies that help the rich get richer at the expense of the rest of America, Democrats are focused on lifting people up and on the issues that matter to working families. As we saw last night, the Democratic Party continues to turn this moment into a movement and this movement into votes.”

 

AFGE Union Says: Trump Budget Cuts Civil Service Pay, Jobs, And Benefits To Line CEO Pockets

Trump budget cuts civil service pay, jobs, and benefits to line CEO pockets, union says

Budget delivers huge tax breaks to CEOs and wealthy on backs of federal workers

WASHINGTON – President Trump’s budget funds huge tax breaks for corporations and the wealthiest Americans by slashing take-home pay, benefits, and jobs for the civil servants who care for our veterans, guard our borders, support our military, and ensure our health, the head of the largest federal employee union said today.

Federal workers would be forced to pay more toward their retirement – amounting to a six-percent pay cut – and would see those retirement benefits shrink through a change in how benefits are calculated and the elimination of annual cost-of-living adjustments.

“Thanks to years of pay freezes, meager wage hikes, and mandatory increases in retirement, federal employees earn 6.5 percent less today than they did at the start of the decade when adjusted for inflation,” Cox said. “President Trump’s budget continues this race to the bottom by penalizing the working-class people who serve and protect their fellow Americans.”

WATCH NOW: President Cox delivers a reality check on President Trump’s budget

 

 

Specifically, the budget would:

  • Increase current workers’ out-of-pocket payments toward their pensions by about 6 percent, not including payments they already make into the Thrift Savings Plan and Social Security.
  • Reduce future pension benefits by averaging an employee’s highest five years of salary, instead of the highest three years.
  • Eliminate annual cost-of-living adjustments for current and future employees under the Federal Employees Retirement System, and cut the COLA for employees under the older Civil Service Retirement System by 0.5 percent from the current formula.
  • Eliminate supplemental payments to employees who retire before age 62, such as law enforcement agents and firefighters.

“This budget rips away any sense of financial security that federal workers currently have and shows how little regard this administration has for the everyday Americans who keep our government running,” Cox said.

The retirement cuts total about $117 billion over a decade, which would be on top of $182 billion in cuts to federal employee pay and benefits since 2010. Federal employees also are at risk by budget proposals that would eliminate subsidized student loans and end student debt forgiveness for those who enter public service.

The budget also proposes eliminating thousands of current jobs, with significant cuts at the Environmental Protection Agency and the Agriculture, Interior, and Treasury departments.

“The federal government has roughly the same number of workers today as it did when Dwight Eisenhower was president, serving a population that has doubled in size,” Cox said. “Federal employees do a tremendous job serving the public with limited resources and little appreciation. Unfortunately, this budget stacks the deck against them by cutting their jobs, wages, and benefits – all to benefit Wall Street executives and the wealthy elite.”

CWA: Working People Will Fight Against Shameful Trump Budget

Following is a statement by CWA President Chris Shelton on the budget released today by the Trump Administration:

“President Trump’s budget is a slap in the face to millions of people who voted for him based on the promises he made on the campaign trail. During the election, Trump visited struggling communities and vowed to preserve and strengthen Medicare and Social Security. His first budget proposal shows that the promise was an outright lie.”

“The Trump budget takes a hatchet to Medicaid, Social Security disability benefits, food assistance for older Americans, food stamps, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), cutting these and other programs by more than $1.7 trillion in order to give an enormous tax cut to the wealthiest.”

“This budget is shameful. Millions of Americans would face draconian cuts to programs that help them with basic needs while billionaires pad their bank accounts with new tax breaks.”

“President Trump, contrary to his campaign promises, has put the concerns and interests of working families dead last. We’re putting Members of Congress on notice: working people will fight back against this vicious budget that targets average Americans in order to give a big handout to the top 1%.”

NH Congressional Delegation Adamantly Opposes Trump’s Budget Proposal

Today, #45 released his disastrous budget proposal.  The budget slashes major departments and includes cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Education, Student Loan programs, repeals the ACA, and guts worker health & safety programs.

Even though, Candidate Trump promised not to make any cuts to Social Security and Medicare, it turns out he was lying.

After all the cuts, #45 proposes more tax cuts to the ultra wealth, like himself, and to multinational corporations who are hiding trillions of dollars overseas already.

“According to Mulvaney, the proposal looks ‘at the budget through the eyes of the taxpayer’ instead of those who receive benefits from federal programs.” (RawStory)

“If I can look you in the eye and say I’m going to take this money from you so I can help this injured vet, I can do that in good conscience,” Mulvaney continued. “I am a lot less comfortable to the point of not wanting to look you in the eye and say, ‘Look, I need to take this money from you to give to this person over here who really isn’t disabled but is getting a disabled benefit or this person over here who is supposed to use the money to go to school but isn’t actually going.” (RawStory)

The New Hampshire Congressional delegation is united in their opposition to these cuts.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen:

“The President’s budget is even worse for New Hampshire than initially feared,” said Shaheen. “This budget would be detrimental to the health and well-being of Granite Staters. Among its many reckless provisions this proposal would throw millions of Americans off of Medicaid, a key program in our fight against the opioid epidemic and in making sure our children and seniors have the care they need. It also cuts funding for other mental health and substance misuse treatment programs. All in all, this budget completely ignores the urgency of the opioid crisis and would pull the rug out from under New Hampshire’s efforts to combat it.

“This budget also continues the Trump administration’s campaign to roll back women’s rights by defunding Planned Parenthood, jeopardizing vital preventive healthcare for nearly 12,000 women in New Hampshire. In a further assault on New Hampshire families, the budget cuts the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Similarly, it’s dumbfounding that this budget eliminates low income heating assistance for thousands of New Hampshire families and seniors, and economic development for the North Country.

“Fortunately, there’s bipartisan agreement that this mindless proposal should be rejected by Congress. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I look forward to working across the aisle on bipartisan government funding legislation that will responsibly fund key programs that many Granite Staters depend on. The budget is a reflection of an administration’s priorities, and what is clear from this budget is that the Trump administration prioritizes tax cuts for the wealthy over New Hampshire children, seniors, and families.”

Senator Maggie Hassan

“President Trump’s budget proposal would directly undermine our economy and the ability of New Hampshire families to get ahead and stay ahead. This irresponsible proposal would jeopardize critical economic priorities and hurt job-creating businesses in order to pay for tax cuts for corporate special interests and an expensive and ineffective border wall. I am particularly disturbed to see cuts to programs that are essential to our efforts to combat the heroin, fentanyl, and opioid crisis. The drastic cuts to the Medicaid program in this proposal go above and beyond even the devastating cuts included in the Trumpcare bill, further hurting people struggling with substance use disorder, students who experience disabilities, and older Americans in nursing homes. President Trump’s proposed cuts to the Department of Education would also undermine our public education system and hurt efforts to develop the workforce our businesses need to thrive and grow. I will strongly fight this budget proposal and urge my colleagues to work across the aisle on a budget that strengthens our economy, invests in our businesses, and supports New Hampshire families.”

Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01)

“A budget is a moral document, and this immoral budget does not reflect the values we share as Americans. The President’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal would hurt students, working Americans, seniors, and our most vulnerable citizens by slashing health care, nutrition assistance, medical and scientific research, education, and other programs. President Trump’s budget reveals his true priorities: giving huge tax cuts to the wealthiest individuals and the biggest corporations.

“Today’s budget abandons the bipartisan progress we made earlier this month, when I voted for and the President signed an omnibus spending bill. As Congress works through the Fiscal Year 2018 budget process, I will fight against reckless and irresponsible cuts that target working families and our most vulnerable citizens; against the President’s proposal to balance the budget on the backs of working Americans and our seniors while giving the wealthiest even bigger tax cuts; against a new BRAC round; and for the priorities that were reflected in this year’s bipartisan omnibus bill.”

Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02)

“The budget proposal released today by President Trump confirms many of our worst fears about the priorities of his administration,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “This budget is cruel, shortsighted, and would be a disaster for efforts to strengthen the middle class. It would hurt hard working families and communities throughout New Hampshire and the country. From public education and student loans to economic development programs like Community Development Block Grants and the Northern Border Regional Commission, this budget would decimate programs for those who can least afford it. It would jeopardize clean air and water and our response to the opioid epidemic, all so that President Trump and his millionaire and billionaire friends can receive a massive tax giveaway. I’ll do everything in my power to fight the harmful elements of this budget and protect programs for Granite State veterans, seniors, and families.”

As if the above cuts were not enough already here are more details on the draconian cuts that Trump is proposing.

  • A $610 billion cut to Medicaid over 10 years, which combined with House-passed American Health Care Act cuts would slice total Medicaid funding almost in half by 2027. About 65 percent of nursing home residents are supported primarily by Medicaid;
  • A $5.8 billion cut to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP);
  • A $7 billion cut to National Institutes of Health (NIH), which provided $98.9 million in critical medical research funding in New Hampshire for Fiscal Year 2016, supporting approximately 1,300 jobs;
  • A 10.7% cut to the National Science Foundation, which provided 125 awards totaling approximately $42 million to New Hampshire institutions in Fiscal Year 2016;
  • A 31.4% cut to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), including cutting critical climate science research;
  • Authorization for a new round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC);
  • A 29% cut to State Department funding, crippling our nation’s ability to exert soft power and respond to humanitarian crises worldwide;
  • A $193 billion cut over 10 years to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which helped 93,302 Granite Staters afford food as of February 2017;
  • $72.5 billion cut from programs that support people with disabilities, including Social Security disability insurance;
  • Elimination of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), a critical fuel assistance program for low-income households in New Hampshire;
  • A $143 billion cut over 10 years to student loan, financial aid and repayment programs that facilitate access to higher education;
  • A reversal of a proposed 95% cut to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). After reports indicated that the President’s budget would include severe ONDCP funding cuts, which the NH delegation has already opposed.

This immoral budget must not pass.  We need to stop trying to balance our national budget on the backs of working people and specifically by taking from those who need it the most.  We must stop this tax giveaway to the wealthiest Americans and corporations who already fail to pay their fair share of tax and hide profits overseas to avoid being taxed at all.

The government should be working together to help all of the people, not a select few of ultra wealth, (most likely Trump) campaign donors.

Alliance For Retired Americans: Trump’s Promise Not To Cut Social Security Broken

Budget Proposal Includes Deep Cuts to Health Care, Disability Insurance, Food Assistance and Massive Tax Breaks for Billionaires and Corporations 

The following statement was issued by Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, regarding President Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget proposal.

“President Trump has betrayed America’s seniors. His White House staff claims that the President’s budget does not cut ‘core’ Social Security benefits, which is a distinction without a difference. Cuts to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are Social Security cuts plain and simple. They will weaken the earned benefits that millions have paid for during decades of work.

“Trump’s budget plan takes health care away from millions of Americans. At a time when 10,000 Americans are turning 65 every day, slashing Medicaid funds for elderly health care is wrong-headed and cruel.

“The budget follows through on the Trumpcare health bill passed by House Republicans and cuts more than $800 billion from Medicaid over 10 years. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that this could end Medicaid benefits for about 10 million people – including millions of seniors, the disabled, veterans and children.

“This budget also decimates the Community Development Block Grant, which provides funding to states and communities to fund home-delivered meals for home-bound seniors, through organizations such as Meals on Wheels.

“Trump’s proposal would cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by more than 25 percent, taking benefits away from the 45 million citizens, especially seniors, who need basic nutrition.

“All of this is in addition to slashing the earned pension benefits of current and future federal workers.

“Cutting pensions and other critical programs to fund tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and highly profitable corporations, which pay little to no tax already, is an affront to working families.

“President Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget is a terrible mix of warped values and blatant dishonesty. The Alliance for Retired Americans will mobilize our 4.4 million members to see that it never advances.”

Colin Van Ostern Endorses Kevin Cavanaugh in Special Election

Manchester, NH – Today, Kevin Cavanaugh’s campaign announced the endorsements of former Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern and other local leaders. Van Ostern, who was the 2016 Democratic nominee for Governor, has worked as a business leader in Manchester for most of the past decade, including at well-known employers like Stonyfield and Southern New Hampshire University.

“Kevin is a great guy – he’s solid, he works hard, and he always stands up for regular people. He’s focused on cutting the cost of higher education, improving our schools with more technical and career training, and building a stronger economy while bringing some balance back to Concord. I encourage everyone who shares those priorities to join me in supporting Kevin for State Senate,said former Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern

“It’s important to me that we come together to ensure Granite Staters can afford to go to college at our excellent institutions and then have great opportunities once they’re done. That’s why I’m so honored to have Colin’s support – he’s been a leader on expanding access to higher education,” said Kevin Cavanaugh.

Newly announced endorsements also include State Representative Joel Elber, State Representative Jesse Martineau, and Manchester Arts Commission Chair Daniel Bérubé.

Area leaders who have endorsed Kevin Cavanaugh:

  • Patti McGilvray, wife of the late Senator Scott McGilvray
  • Colin Van Ostern, 2016 Democratic Nominee for Governor & former Executive Councilor*
  • Lou  D’Allesandro, State Senator
  • Glenn Brackett, labor leader
  • Bob Backus, State Representative (Manchester)
  • Linda DiSilvestro, State Representative (Manchester)
  • Joel Elber, State Representative (Manchester)*
  • Mary Heath, State Representative (Manchester)
  • Christopher Herbert, State Representative & Manchester Alderman
  • Pat Long, State Representative & Manchester Alderman
  • Mark MacKenzie, State Representative (Manchester) & former AFL-CIO President
  • Jesse Martineau, State Representative (Manchester)*
  • Bill O’Neil, State Representative (Manchester)
  • Dan Sullivan, State Representative (Manchester)
  • Bill Barry, Manchester Alderman
  • Garth Corriveau, Former Manchester Alderman
  • Harold Judd, Bow Board of Selectmen Chair
  • Mike Kaminski, Dunbarton Board of Selectmen Chair
  • Bob Martel, Dunbarton Board of Selectmen Co-Chair
  • Dan O’Neil, Manchester Alderman & former State Senator
  • Tony Sapienza, Manchester Alderman
  • Timothy Tsantoulis, Hooksett Councilor
  • Sarah Ambrogi, Manchester School Board Member
  • Erika Connors, Manchester School Board Member
  • Mary Ngwanda Georges, Manchester School Board Member
  • Maura Ouellette, Former Hooksett School Board Chair
  • Kim Royer, Candia School Board Member
  • Leslie Want, Manchester School Board Member
  • Daniel Bérubé, Manchester Arts Commission Chair*
  • Kate Corriveau, progressive activist

*previously unannounced endorsements

 

NEA-New Hampshire Recommends Kevin Cavanaugh for Senate District 16 Special Election

Members of the NEA-NH Executive Board with their recommended candidate for the District 16 Senate Special Election, Kevin Cavanaugh.

 

CONCORD – Today, after a unanimous Executive Board vote, NEA-New Hampshire, the state’s largest public sector union, announced their recommendation of working families advocate and community leader Kevin Cavanaugh for Senate District 16 in the upcoming special election.

“As a father who proudly sent all three of my kids to New Hampshire public schools and graduated from Manchester public school myself, I’m honored to earn the recommendation of NEA-NH. Its important to me that our kids get a top-notch education so they can reach their fullest potential,” said Kevin Cavanaugh. “Schools are the foundation of our community, which is why it’s critical that educators are supported and empowered to keep inspiring our children to think big.”

“We are excited to support Kevin Cavanaugh, because he knows that growing New Hampshire’s economy starts with having a public education that makes young families want to stay to ensure their kids can get a good education,” said NEA-NH President Megan Tuttle. “This race is particularly important to us because of our history with Scott McGilvray and we’re confident that Kevin will make kids a priority, just like Scott always did. Like Scott, Kevin will be a fresh face in the Senate, with new ideas, willing to work with everyone to move New Hampshire forward. ”

NEA-New Hampshire represents 17,000 Granite State educators, including over 550 members in Senate District 16, which includes the towns of Bow, Candia, Dunbarton, Hooksett and Wards 1, 2, and 12 in the city of Manchester.

A recommendation is the fullest and most complete level of support NEA-NH can give a candidate.


NEA-New Hampshire is the largest union of public employees in the state. Founded in 1854, the New Hampshire State Teachers Association became one of the “founding ten” state education associations that formed the National Education Association in 1857. Known today as NEA-NH, and comprised of more than 17,000 members, our mission to advocate for the children of New Hampshire and public school employees, and to promote lifelong learning, remains true after more than 150 years. Our members are public school employees in all stages of their careers, including classroom teachers and other certified professionals, staff and instructors at public higher education institutions, students preparing for a teaching career, education support personnel and those retired from the profession.

Trump’s Sham Committee On Voter Fraud Brings In The Secretary’s of State From NH And KS

The NH Young Democrats and The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law speak out against Trump’s new executive order to investigate unfounded claims of voter fraud.

Following the shocking news that President Trump signed an executive order establishing the “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity” and that Secretary of State William Gardner will participate on the commission, House Election Law Committee member Representative Isaac Epstein released the following statement on behalf of the NHYD:

“Every voter in New Hampshire should be alarmed that President Trump has cooked up this sham commission. This is a clumsy distraction to justify the President’s ridiculous lies about fake voter fraud here in our own state. Serious leaders on both sides of the aisle, including Secretary of State Gardner, have all dismissed these absurd allegations.

We appreciate Secretary Gardner’s many years of service to the State of New Hampshire, but we have real concerns about his participation in this commission. Specifically, we are concerned by his outspoken support for Senate Bill 3 which was introduced to address the very perceptions of voter fraud that President Trump and Governor Sununu have fabricated.

If Secretary Gardner participates on this commission, we implore him to stand up for every Granite State voter and to reject the Trump administration’s lies about massive voter fraud. Further, we beg him to only support conclusions that are based in fact and reality. As a public servant, Secretary Gardner’s top priority should be to protect the most fundamental right of every American – the right to vote.”

Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, released the following statement Thursday in response to alarming reports that President Trump will launch a commission to review his unfounded claims of voter suppression.

According to reports, the commission will be co-led by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a partisan advocate for voter suppression laws:

“In no uncertain terms we condemn the launch of this so-called Presidential Commission on Election Integrity.  President Trump is trying to create a distraction from actual threats to our democracy, such as ongoing voter suppression and Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

“When Attorney General Jeff Sessions led a similar effort as a former prosecutor in Alabama, it had a chilling effect on the black vote.  Now, President Trump is seeking the counsel of Kansas Secretary of State Kobach, who has a proven record of advocating for discriminatory and burdensome policies that prevent members of minority communities from exercising their right to vote.”

Report after report has shown that there is no voter fraud in New Hampshire and that Trump’s accusations of voter fraud are completely unfounded.  What is real is the partisan attack on voting rights and access to the ballot as Republicans say they are “tightening up the laws.”  These new restrictions will block assess to the ballot and suppress the vote.

State Senator Lou D’Allesandro Endorses Cavanaugh in Special Election

Manchester, NH – Today, Kevin Cavanaugh’s campaign announced the endorsements of State Senator Lou D’Allesandro and other local leaders. Cavanaugh is running in the NH Senate District 16 special election.

“It’s an honor to have the support of Senator D’Allesandro. I’m running for the Senate so that together, we can fight for working families, support our schools, and stand up for all Granite Staters,” said Kevin Cavanaugh.

“I’m proud to be supporting Kevin’s campaign – he will bring an important voice and a fresh perspective to the Senate,” said Lou D’Allesandro. “I’m impressed by his commitment and dedication to serving the people of his district – the people of New Hampshire will benefit greatly by having a person with his background in Concord.”

Kevin was born and raised in Manchester and has spent the past 32 years as a union employee. He has coached High School Football at Memorial and West as well as multiple youth hockey, soccer, baseball, and softball teams. Kevin was first elected to the Board of Alderman in 2015. He lives in Manchester Ward 1 with his wife and three teenage children who have all gone through the public school system.

Newly announced endorsements also include State Representative Linda DiSilvestro, Bow Board of Selectmen Chair Harold Judd, former Manchester Alderman Garth Corriveau, and progressive activist Kate Corriveau.

Area leaders who have endorsed Kevin Cavanaugh:

 

  • Patti McGilvray, wife of the late Senator Scott McGilvray
  • Lou  D’Allesandro, State Senator*
  • Glenn Brackett, labor leader
  • Bob Backus, State Representative (Manchester)
  • Linda DiSilvestro, State Representative (Manchester)*
  • Mary Heath, State Representative (Manchester)
  • Christopher Herbert, State Representative & Manchester Alderman
  • Pat Long, State Representative & Manchester Alderman
  • Mark MacKenzie, State Representative (Manchester) & Former AFL-CIO President
  • Bill O’Neil, State Representative (Manchester)
  • Dan Sullivan, State Representative (Manchester)
  • Bill Barry, Manchester Alderman
  • Garth Corriveau, Former Manchester Alderman*
  • Harold Judd, Bow Board of Selectmen Chair*
  • Mike Kaminski, Dunbarton Board of Selectmen Chair
  • Bob Martel, Dunbarton Board of Selectmen Co-Chair
  • Dan O’Neil, Manchester Alderman & Former State Senator
  • Tony Sapienza, Manchester Alderman
  • Timothy Tsantoulis, Hooksett Councilor
  • Sarah Ambrogi, Manchester School Board Member
  • Erika Connors, Manchester School Board Member
  • Mary Ngwanda Georges, Manchester School Board Member
  • Maura Ouellette, Former Hooksett School Board Chair
  • Kim Royer, Candia School Board Member
  • Leslie Want, Manchester School Board Member
  • Kate Corriveau, progressive activist*
*previously unannounced endorsements

Leo W Gerard: Another GOP Tax Plan For Captains

Donald Trump
Image by DonkeyHotey CC FLIKR

It’s based on the same voodoo economics we’ve heard many times before.

As he ran for office, Donald Trump repeatedly reminded audiences that he was “really, really rich,” but assured voters that as president he would be a working man’s champion, a blue-collar Superman.

He said he would stop corporations from offshoring manufacturing jobs with a border adjustment tax on imports. He would end trade cheating and declare China a currency manipulator on his first day in office. He would launch within his first 100 days a $1 trillion infrastructure improvement program to create millions of jobs fixing the nation’s airports, bridges and roads.

Trump’s record of promise-keeping to America’s working men and women in his first 100 days is this: So far, no good. The tax plan, well, the one-page tax sketch that the administration released last week is symbolic. While it would slash federal levies on fat cats and corporations, administration officials refused to say it would help the middle class at all. And it contains no border adjustment tax.

The tax plan rewards the captains of industry, the captains of Wall Street, the captains of real estate, like, well, like Trump himself. But the middle class, not so fast. The poor, not at all. Someone needs to tell Donald Trump that banksters and real estate tycoons sporting navy golf polos aren’t blue-collar workers. The tax scheme, like so many of Trump’s other pledges to workers, is a stab in the back of that indigo shirt.

On the campaign trail, Trump said rich people like him should pay more in taxes. Yet, the tax plan he offered last week would cut his taxes – by tens of millions a year. That’s because it would eliminate the alternative minimum tax. This is a levy intended to require billionaires like Trump to pay at least something after subtracting their multitude of special-rich-people deductions.

Trump has refused to release his tax returns – the first American president to keep them secret since Gerald Ford, who provided summaries. But Trump’s 2005 return, uncovered in part by a newspaper, shows that he had to pay $31 million as a result of the alternative minimum tax.

Trump’s plan also calls for eliminating the estate tax. That is paid only by people who inherit more than $5.5 million – as Trump’s children will. And it calls for cutting by more than half, to 15 percent, the tax paid by entities called pass-through corporations. Trump’s attorneys indicated in his presidential financial disclosures that his approximately 500 businesses are almost all pass-throughs.

Trump will be hobnobbing with his country club buddies in benefitting from this break. A 2015 study by the nonpartisan National Bureau of Economic Research found that the top 1 percent gets 69 percent of pass-through income.

Right now, a worker can’t get in on that low 15 percent tax rate unless reporting income below $37,950. But doctors and lawyers and investment bankers would get that special discount rate, no matter how much they make, as long as they pay a few bucks to establish a pass-through corporation. Trump’s plan would allow a lawyer paid $1 million a year to cut his taxes by $180,000 by setting up a pass-through.

Certainly, with all of those perks going to the nation’s most wealthy, Trump’s tax men would assure workers that they will benefit too.

Not really. When asked on ABC’s “Good Morning America” last week whether the middle class would pay more under the plan, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said: “I can’t make any guarantees.”

And the director of Trump’s National Economic Council, Gary D. Cohn, could not say how much of a break – if any­ – a middle-income American would get under the plan.

If it’s not absolutely clear who Trump’s tax plan would benefit, there’s also this from George Callas, the senior tax counsel for the Speaker of the House. Callas wants a permanent break for corporations, saying of a temporary one:

“It would not alter business decisions. It would not cause anyone to build a factory. It would just be dropping cash out of helicopters on corporate headquarters for a couple of years.”

Lots of small towns in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania – towns that suffered when corporations offshored factories, towns that voted for Trump – would really benefit from cash dropping out of helicopters for a couple of years.

But that’s not Trump’s plan.

Trump’s money men, Mnuchin and Cohn, said slashing levies on the wealthy will pay for itself because giving the rich more cash will spur economic growth. So, no need to worry about Trump’s tax cuts ballooning the national debt, they assured.

This is called the Laffer Curve. Really.

Economist Arthur Laffer, an adviser to Trump, explained to the Washington Post last week that it works like this: “When you think about cutting that corporate rate, let’s say, from 35 to 15, that’s not going to cost you any money.”

He convinced the likes of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush this hocus-pocus would work. And now, he has bamboozled Trump.

Both Reagan and Bush cut taxes. Both also left the country with larger deficits and uneven economic growth. Reagan raised taxes several times after his initial 1981 cut. Bush gave the country the Great Recession.

Laffer still insists his curve works, contending, “It’s a no-brainer.”

No. It’s voodoo economics. That’s what George H.W. Bush called it.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan group that advocates fiscal restraint, estimated that Trump’s Laffer tax plan could reduce federal revenue by $3 trillion to $7 trillion over a decade. The economy would need to grow at a rate of 4.5 percent to make that proposal self-financing.

It grew at a pathetic 0.7 percent during Trump’s first quarter in office. In President Obama’s last quarter, the fourth of 2016, it increased at 2.1 percent. To rise at 4.5 percent would be phenomenal. Maybe paranormal.

Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, put it this way: “It seems the administration is using economic growth like magic beans: the cheap solution to all our problems.”

Ronald Reagan, who like Trump was adored by blue-collar workers, promised that benefits from his massive tax cuts for the rich would trickle down to the rest. That never worked. But now Trump is taking advice from the same Svengali and promoting the same flim-flam plan.

Those heartland workers can’t tolerate another hit. But it’s not just taxes. The health insurance proposal Trump is pushing would cost many low- and middle-income workers thousands of dollars more a year. Trump has proposed eliminating the Chemical Safety Board, which prevents workplace deaths. He delayed rules protecting workers from deadly silica and beryllium. He signed a law ending a requirement that large federal contractors disclose and correct serious safety violations. Trump has no federal infrastructure plan and reneged on naming China a currency manipulator.

These are all the actions of a president protecting the captains of commerce, not one championing blue-collar workers.

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