Dear Member of Congress:
Americans for Tax Fairness, a coalition of more than 400 national, state and local organizations united in support of a fair tax system that works for all Americans, strongly urges you to vote NO on Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s “Default on America Act” when it comes to the House floor this week.
The current budget-deficit debate in Washington, like too many fiscal debates over the past 40 years, has been dominated by Republican demands to cut spending on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education, housing, nutrition programs, and much more. Earlier this month, Americans for Tax Fairness led 376 organizations in a letter urging you to reject GOP efforts to hold the debt limit hostage to force through their unpopular and deeply regressive agenda.
Instead, we urge you to pass a clean debt limit bill and then work to reverse the decades of tax cuts for the rich and corporations that are a primary cause of the national debt. As detailed in a recent report from the Center for American Progress, tax cuts that disproportionately benefited the wealthiest few are a major driver of the same debt that House Republicans are now using to justify deep cuts for working families. Among the report’s findings, the Bush and Trump tax cuts alone are responsible for 57% of the increase in the debt ratio (debt as a percent of the economy) since 2001 and more than 90% of the increase in the debt ratio if the extraordinary costs of combating COVID-19 ($5.6 trillion) and the Great Recession ($787 billion) are excluded.
Unfortunately, the bill proposed by House Republicans protects the wealthy and corporations from paying more of their fair share—and even makes it easier for rich people to evade hundreds of billions of dollars of taxes every year. Instead of asking the most fortunate to contribute, the bill would force 100,000 kids to lose childcare, deny affordable housing to over a million families, and take away healthy meals from a million older Americans—among many other damaging service cuts—all while worsening the climate crisis and adding bureaucratic red tape to Medicaid and food assistance programs which would force millions of Americans to lose their healthcare and food. On top of that, economists estimate that the bill could cost 780,000 Americans their jobs by weakening the economy.
Meanwhile, the same Republicans holding the nation’s creditworthiness hostage out of a professed concern about national debt want to permanently extend Trump tax cuts that mostly benefit the wealthy and will increase that debt by $3 trillion.
We urge you to vote NO on the “Default on America Act” that would be disastrous for millions of American families. Instead, we call on you to support President Biden’s proposed budget that would reduce the national debt by $3 trillion over 10 years while investing $2.8 trillion in services for working families, all paid for with $5 trillion in fairer taxes on the rich and corporations plus $800 billion in associated cost savings.
Legislative & Policy Director