Dear MoveOn member,We’ve entered the critical final phase of the fight over the GOP tax bill. What happens in the coming days will have consequences for a generation.
It’s time for an all-out blitz to stop the tax scam—and, win or lose, to ensure that the public understands exactly how viciously the Republicans are trying to rip off the public to enrich their donors.
MoveOn is helping lead the charge against this heist of the U.S. Treasury. Resources are needed now to support a wave of organizing, on the ground and online, to sound the alarm.
Here’s a briefing on where we are, what comes next, and how we fight back.
Well past midnight on Friday, Republicans passed a mammoth tax giveaway to the ultra wealthy, crammed full of wild loopholes ranging from giveaways to heirs of multimillion-dollar estates to a special tax break for private school tuition. Leading congressional scholar Norm Ornstein tweeted, “There has never been a more outrageous, revolting, unfair process to pass a corrupted bill in the history of Congress.”
At its heart is a mammoth handout for corporations that cuts their tax rate nearly in half. Some of this is paid for by raising taxes on the middle class, but much of it simply adds to the deficit—which Republicans have already announced their intention to address by slashing Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Not a single Democrat voted for this bill. But nearly every Republican did.
It’s sickening. But this fight isn’t over.
On Monday, Paul Ryan handpicks his “conferees”—Representatives who will hammer out a new bill with a group of Republican senators, resolving the many differences between the bills already passed by the House and Senate. Then, both chambers will have to vote again.
We shouldn’t kid ourselves. This will be very, very hard to stop. We’d need to flip 11 House Republicans who voted for it the first time—or flip two Senate Republicans. The GOP is hell-bent on delivering for their wealthy donors. But just because it’s a hard fight doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.
For one thing, this bill raises taxes on the constituents of many of the most politically vulnerable House Republicans: those representing high-tax states like California, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. These Republicans have been nervous about the way the bill forces their constituents to pay taxes on the money they’re already paying in state and local taxes. Until the final vote, it’s worth flooding them with maximal pressure.
For another thing, this bill is hideously unpopular in most of the country. The only bill that has polled worse was the ACA repeal, and we all know what happened to that. If we keep hammering, the sheer political toxicity of this law could lead some savvy politicians to sour on it.
In fact, the nastiness of this law is exactly why the GOP is so determined to rush it. It’s a political “win” only in the sense that it rewards their donors, which presumably will lead to more campaign contributions in 2018. But the more the public knows about what’s in this bill, the more it hurts the GOP’s chances with actual voters. And that’s why it’s critical to fight back, publicly and unignorably, because if we alert enough people to this act of legislative looting by the 1%, we can make this bill backfire. Our job is to sear into the public’s mind that this bill is a massive transfer of money from the many to the few. Whether we win or lose the vote in Congress, we can make this bill a game-changer in the elections next year.
We’ve got a plan to make this bill the biggest GOP mistake since they tried to dismantle Medicaid.
How do we cut through the blizzard of other news stories and make sure the public wakes up to the Republican tax scam? Here’s our tactical roadmap:
* Text and call people—to tell them the facts and ask them to call their senators and representatives. We’ve already texted and called [number]. Let’s double that.
* Digital ads and videos. Our videos on the GOP tax scam have been viewed millions of times. We’re going to keep cranking out more, so that even if TV pundits are obsessed with something else, the public gets the real story on Facebook.
* Newsworthy on-the-ground organizing. This weekend, we’ve dominated local coverage in Ohio, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania with thousand-person rallies against the tax scam with Bernie Sanders. We’ll keep up the pace of coverage-generating local actions—because nearly half of Americans still get their news from local TV.
All of these tactics are high-impact. Together, and along with the efforts of our hundreds of coalition partners in the Not One Penny campaign and Americans for Tax Fairness, they just may be enough to stop the bill. But even if this scam becomes law, these tactics are our shot at making Republicans regret ever attempting this.
For the past forty years, the rich have gotten richer in this country—and working people have been left behind. This bill would dial that trend into overdrive. In fighting it, we stand up for the fundamental value that America should be a democracy, not an oligarchy—a country where everyone has a fighting chance, where we’re all created equal, and where our economy recognizes the equal value of all. It’s time to take a stand.
Thanks for all you do.
P.S. The Senate version of the bill slashes the health insurance rolls by 13 million people to fund more corporate tax cuts. The final bill is expected to do the same. The fight against the GOP tax plan, in other words, is another version of the ACA repeal fight.