Column: Tax plan doesn’t help middle class

Dan Kildee

Michiganians are working harder than ever to make ends meet. I constantly hear stories from families who tell me they are working long hours — sometimes at multiple jobs — just to pay the bills, buy groceries and keep a roof over their heads.

It is these hardworking Michiganians that need tax relief the most. They deserve a tax code that is simple and fair, that puts working people first. When you work hard and play by the rules, you should be able to get ahead and take care of your family.

Yet the Republican tax plan does not help the middle class. Their plan would cut taxes for the rich and big corporations while many middle-class families would see a tax increase. Simply put, the Republican plan is a scam for the working people I represent.

Here are the facts: According to independent analysis, tens of millions of middle-class families would see their taxes go up. For those families with children, you would see your taxes increase, on average, by $2,000.

Here is how the Republican tax plan makes middle-class families pay more:

For many homeowners or some families looking to buy their first home, the Republican plan would raise taxes by limiting the ability to deduct the interest on a mortgage.

If you are one of 40 million Americans with student debt, the Republican tax plan raises your taxes by eliminating the student loan interest deduction.

If you have a sick child or parent, the Republican plan would raise your taxes by eliminating your ability to deduct medical expenses. Nearly 9 million American households — especially families with children who have disabilities or long-term care needs — would be hurt.

For teachers paying for school supplies out of your own pocket, the Republican plan would raise taxes and eliminate deductions for classroom supplies.

While middle-class families pay more, the Republican plan gives trillions of dollars to the wealthy and corporations. It allows them to keep their special interest loopholes, rigging the system so they do not pay their fair share.

Republicans want to pay for these massive giveaways to the wealthy by adding $1.5 trillion to the national deficit. They want to charge their tax cuts for the wealthy to the nation’s credit card, saddling our children and grandchildren with debt.

Increasing our nation’s debt means huge cuts to critical investments that working families rely on. As a nation, we could no longer afford to rebuild our crumbling roads and bridges, or invest in education and after school programs. While the Republican plan cuts taxes for millionaires and billionaires, it would slash critical benefits like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

This plan is irresponsible, immoral and dangerous. It is no surprise that this scam is already deeply unpopular since it cuts taxes for billionaires, while asking the middle class to pay more.

Congress should start over and get this right. Both parties should come together and focus on real tax relief for middle-class Americans, not just more tax breaks for those at the very top.

Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint, represents Michigan’s 5th Congressional district.