What Fresh Hell Is This?

December 16, 2017

Senator Toomey RESPONDS To Another Letter

In yesterday's mail, I received another response from Senator Pat Toomey.

Senator Toomey begins with this:
Thank you for contacting me about reforming our nation's tax code. I appreciate hearing from you.
Again, relieved that he STILL appreciates hearing from me. Whew.

The first task is to ascertain which of my open letters to Toomey he's answering.  As this one is dated November 27, 2017 we can safely assume it doesn't answer any letter after my thirty-seventh (which is about Thanksgiving anyway).

So which one is it?

Letter 33 kind of mentions tax reform, but really only in passing. It's my only "tax" letter so this must be it.

In that letter, I wrote that:
The LA Times reported that "Senate Republicans overcame internal divisions late Thursday to approve a 2018 budget that will increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion over 10 years to allow for President Trump’s proposed tax cuts. They also reported that the budget "slashes domestic spending, including steep cuts to Medicare and Medicaid."
I also wrote that the NYTimes reporting on how Trump's tax plan is
...potentially a huge windfall for the wealthiest Americans with no benefits for the bottom 1/3 and only modest benefits for the middle class.
And I asked how he could vote for something that does all that and slashes Medicare/Medicaid while increasing the deficit by a trillion or more dollars.

To that letter, Senator Pat Toomey responded with:
Tax reform can help to create sustained economic growth for all Americans. The Congressional Budget Office (CB) has projected the nation's gross domestic product to increase by a meager 1.9 percent each year over the next decade. I refuse to accept sub-two percent growth as the new normal knowing that, in the sixty years before the Obama administration, economic growth averaged 3.4 percent per year.

On November 16, 2017, the House passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) by a vote of 227-205. Later that same day, I joined a majority of my colleagues on the Senate Finance Committee in passing our own version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Passage out of committee was a big step towards enacting pro-growth tax reform, and I look forward to moving this bill to the Senate floor soon.

For example, the bill lowers our country's statutory corporate tax rate of 35 percent, which is the highest in the developed world and far above the average rate of our economic competitors (less than 23 percent). Without a significant reduction in business tax rates, the U.S. will never be the best place to invest and create jobs. And with the increasing international mobility of capital, a significant burden of business taxes now falls on workers, undermining wage growth.

I am confident pro-growth tax reform will deliver hardworking families across Pennsylvania a direct pay raise through cutting individual tax rates across the board as well as doubling both the standard deduction and the child tax credit. Reforms to the business side of the tax code that will make us globally competitive will result in an indirect pay raise as more jobs and new businesses are created, resulting in an upward pressure on wages.

I value your input and I will keep your concerns in mind as I continue working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to fix our broken tax system and advance policies that will help grow our economy and create jobs.
It's always nice to see how he values my input (thanks, Pat!) but I asked about the projected increase in the deficit, the proposed slashing of domestic spending (including Medicare and Medicaid) and the financial windfall for the already wealthy with little or no benefit for anyone else and the Senator pivoted to a discussion about decreasing corporate tax rates and how that'll be increasing jobs.

Swing and a miss Pat, sorry.

And unless this polarized beyond compare Congress can get together on something big, this Tax Reform package will, according to the CBO, trigger millions in Medicare spending cuts:
Without enacting subsequent legislation to either off set that deficit increase, waive the recordation of the bill’s impact on the scorecard, or otherwise mitigate or eliminate the requirements of the PAYGO law, OMB would be required to issue a sequestration order within 15 days of the end of the session of Congress to reduce spending in fiscal year 2018 by the resultant total of $136 billion. However, the PAYGO law limits reductions to Medicare to four percentage points (or roughly $25 billion for that year)...
I wonder how many of Senator Pat Toomey's constituents are aware that the tax plan that'll be lowering the tax rate for big corporations will also be slashing Medicare.

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