Commentary: WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham voted against the GOP tax package that would reduce investment and long-term economic growth in New Mexico as well as increase taxes on working families.
“As we have seen in Kansas, trickle-down economics has a negative and devastating impact on job creation and economic growth,” Rep. Lujan Grisham said. “This tax plan not only provides massive tax cuts to the rich on the backs of hard-working New Mexicans, but undermines important job creating investments in the New Mexico economy. Further, the $1.7 trillion package that will have to be paid for by our children and grandchildren will force automatic budget cuts that will decimate Medicare, workforce training services, investments that grow small businesses, and agriculture programs that New Mexico’s economy depends on.
“It’s reckless and unfair that under this plan, college students will face more debt; teachers will be penalized for buying school supplies; planned renewable energy investments in New Mexico will be in jeopardy; and middle-class families will pay more for medical expenses and long-term care. I call for bi-partisan tax reform that truly invests in the middle-class, simplifies the tax code, facilitates job creation and economic growth, and ensures the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share.” Lujan Grisham said.
Rep. Lujan Grisham introduced an amendment to the tax package that was based on her legislation to tax opioid producers and manufacturers and create a permanent source of funding for opioid treatment, prevention, and research. Republican leadership refused to allow a vote on the amendment.
Impacts to New Mexico:
· Eliminates Student Loan Interest Deduction & Lifetime Learning Credits – destroying a key deduction for young graduates and workers getting the job training they need to succeed in the 21st century economy.
· In New Mexico, 61,910 people take the student loan interest deduction, saving on average $978.
· Repeals the educator expense deduction which teachers use to offset the cost of classroom supplies they are often forced to provide for their students out of their own pockets.
· In NM, 23,390 educators claim the deduction, saving on average $256.
· Eliminates the Medical Expense Deduction – this is a key deduction claimed by nearly 9 million American households, which helps families with children with disabilities, long-term care needs, fertility treatments, injuries and much more. This deduction is critical for families who, despite having health insurance, face high out of pocket costs for their care which could wipe out their savings and leave them destitute.
· In New Mexico, 53,193 people filed for this tax benefit and receive an average deduction of $9,337.
· Undermines the renewable energy production tax credit that supports zero-emission projects.
· Changing the rules in the middle of the game is unfair to all of the businesses that have already made renewable energy investments in New Mexico. For example, this would jeopardize a massive $1.6 billion proposed wind project that would create jobs and facilitate long-term economic growth in the state.
Add $1.7 trillion to the national debt
· The CBO estimates the tax package will cost $1.7 trillion over a decade.
· $300 billion of that is the interest, or the cost of servicing the debt.
· To put that into perspective, the cost of this bill would be $400 billion more than it would cost to repair every street and highway in America, almost twice the cost of all government-provided veteran health care, four times the cost of the National Institutes of Health, eight times the cost of the National Guard, and 18 times the cost of the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Trigger automatic spending cuts through sequestration
· Medicare: Cut by $25 billion in 2018
· Another $111 billion in cuts would hurt programs like:
o Agriculture subsidies
o State workforce development grants for individuals with disabilities