Baltimore, MD (November 16, 2017) – The NAACP denounces the tax reform legislation that passed on Thursday in the House of Representatives. H.R. 1 – the misnamed “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” – will add $1.5 trillion in new deficits and threatens low- and middle-income Americans, Americans of color, and children.
“This legislation is bad economic policy,” said Hilary O. Shelton, Director of the Washington Bureau and Senior Vice President of Advocacy for the NAACP. “It will cause great harm to public education, it could mean huge tax increases for families already saddled with exorbitant medical costs, and it is mean-spirited towards immigrants and non-citizens. It represents an opportunity lost in terms of what is needed to help all American families prosper, not just the wealthy few.”
Black and Brown Americans are unlikely to receive any of the benefits that the new tax policy promises. The plan’s elimination of estate tax means little to many families of color, who have not had the privilege to own homes and otherwise compound wealth. At the same time, the bill eliminates a type of tax-exempt bond that provides critical funding for affordable housing. The bill also furthers the recent assault on affordable health care by cutting trillions from Medicaid and eliminating subsidies created by the Affordable Care Act.
The bill will also undermine funding for public schools and could harm three million low-income children in working families. While H.R. 1 increases the maximum Child Tax Credit (CTC), only some families will benefit. Specifically, it will completely exclude ten million children whose parents work for low pay – about one in seven of all U.S. children. Another thirteen million children in working families will receive less than the full per-child increase in the credit. Altogether, 23.7 million children in working families will either be excluded entirely or only partially benefit from the CTC increase. Of these 23 million, 4.6 million, or almost 20%, African American. In short, the plan privileges wealthy, white Americans and burdens all others, thus further exacerbating racial and socioeconomic divides.
“The House had an opportunity to use tax policy to improve the health and equity of our communities, but they have instead chosen a plan that will reward the wealthiest households and corporations,” said Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO. “The NAACP condemns the new bill and calls on the House and the Senate, going forward, to pursue responsible, compassionate legislation that will truly promote wealth and employment throughout our nation.”