BY JON CRONIN
House of Representatives Minority Leader U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and her colleagues from Queens tore into the GOP tax bill this past weekend in Woodhaven.
The tax teach-in event was hosted by U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Brooklyn), who said that the new tax plan “blows up the deficit in our country.”
Pelosi, Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) and three tax experts explained the planning of the bill to a crowd at All Saints Episcopal Church in Woodhaven.
“This really is a tax scam,” Crowley said.
He explained that if the United States were a home being refinanced, the tax bill would take the money from the refinancing and rather than investing it back into the home, give it to the wealthiest people with the biggest homes in the neighborhood.
“When we get back in the majority, we will repeal and replace this bill,” Crowley said.
Hochul pointed out that the state of New York is a “donor state” to the country’s economy, which means that it contributes approximately $48 billion to the country and receives significantly less back in federal aid.
“Eliminating the deductibility of state tax was a kick in the teeth,” she said, referencing the fact that homeowners in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will no longer be able to write off their state property taxes over $10,000.
Pelosi said that the tax plan, which puts the country $2 trillion further into debt and gives $1.5 trillion in tax breaks to its wealthiest residents, will partially be paid for by cutting $500 billion to Medicaid.
“Many of the people on Medicaid are veterans,” she said. “We have a moral responsibility to do the right thing by the budget. For our country, for our stability, for our children.”
Charles Khan, an economist on the panel with the House representatives, said that the GOP tax bill is “the most unpopular bill in the country’s history.”
“It is very expensive and does little to help poor people and the middle class,” he noted, adding that it would cut food stamps by 40 percent.
Khan also believes that it does “very little” to help the bottom 60 percent of New Yorkers, who will see tax increases in 10 years. He hopes that the New York state legislature can pass a millionaires’ tax to recoup some of the money that the federal government is taking away in services.