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United States : Menendez on GOP Tax Plan: One Giant Hit-Job on New Jerseys Middle Class.

In remarks today on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) outlined the damage the Republican tax plan would do to families in New Jersey, saying it reads like one giant hit-job on New Jerseys middle class.

Senator Menendezs remarks follow: I come to the floor today painfully aware of the many reasons to oppose this reckless, wasteful Republican tax bill. Its a shame, because I still believe we need smart tax reform that puts working families and small businesses first, and that prepares America to compete in the 21st century. But thats not what well be voting on this week. Were voting on the Trump tax plan this week, a plan Republicans hope to ram through the Senate with just 51 votes.

With 51 votes, Republicans will raise taxes on millions of middle class families and those working to join the middle class. With 51 votes, Republicans will hand huge tax cuts to big corporations with no strings attached, no guarantees that workers see higher wages. With 51 votes, they will take health coverage away from 13 million Americans and hike premiums for everyone else. With 51 votes, they will saddle our children and grandchildren with another $1.5 trillion in debt.

Any one of these reasons is reason enough to oppose the Trump tax plan. But for me, as the Senior Senator from New Jersey a state of nearly 9 million people; a state with the 8th most productive economy in America -- I cannot and will not support a tax bill that reads like ONE GIANT HIT-JOB on New Jerseys middle class.

Just how bad is the Trump tax plan for New Jersey? Well, take the House version a bill so awful that 11 out of 12 members of Congress from New Jersey voted against it and make it worse. The Senate bill is worse because it totally eliminates the state and local tax deduction, or SALT deduction.

Even President Trumps economic advisor Larry Kudlow recently said, ending the SALT deduction will hurt a lot of different people. And a lot of those people who get hurt live in New Jersey. In 2015 alone, nearly 1.8 million New Jersey households deducted a combined $17 billion in state and local taxes from their federal tax bills. And over 1.5 million New Jersey homeowners with sky-high property taxes deducted nearly $15 billion that same year.

These taxpayers arent high-rollers. They are middle class families who had to work hard to achieve the American dream. In fact, tax data tells us that 83 percent of New Jerseyans who claim the SALT deduction make under $200,000 year, and about half make under $100,000 a year. The families who get hurt live every corner of our state. From Ocean County, where it will cost taxpayers $1.3 billion, to Burlington County, where it will cost taxpayers $1.37 billion, to Passaic County where it will cost taxpayers $1.16 billion in deductions.

Its wrong, just plain wrong, to ask these hardworking families -- folks who werent born with a silver spoon in their mouths, who had to work hard for every dollar they have, who had to fight their way into the middle class it is wrong to ask them to pay more just so that big corporations pay less and those born to multi-million-dollar inheritances pay nothing at all.

Ending the SALT deduction will literally force New Jersey families to pay taxes twice on the same money. And rubbing SALT in their wounds is the fact that Republicans let corporations keep on deducting their state and local taxes on top of the huge tax cuts lavished on them by the Trump tax plan. If protecting the SALT deduction is so important for big corporations that make billions of dollars a year, surely my Republican colleagues can imagine how important it is for a middle class family in a state like New Jersey to keep it.

Quite frankly Im sick and tired of Congress treating New Jersey like Americas piggy bank. My constituents already pay too much in taxes. New Jerseyans cant afford to subsidize the rest of America more than we already do. And yet Republicans now want to dig even deeper into the wallets of New Jerseys middle class with the Trump tax plan.

To borrow an old phrase from the Lower Trenton Bridge what New Jersey makes, the GOP takes. Now, some have speculated that this tax bill was designed to punish Americans who live in so-called blue states. And certainly, I wouldnt put it past an Administration as cynical as this one to punish states that voted against Trump in the 2016 election. But ultimately, M. President, this isnt about red states or blue states. Its time we start calling these states what they really are. These arent blue states - they are Americas blue-chip states. They are Americas innovation states. Americas economic powerhouse states! States like New Jersey are home to millions of makers not takers. And were proud of it.

But our success didnt happen overnight. It didnt happen by accident. New Jerseys success is predicated on our priorities and investments. New Jersey is a donor state precisely because we invest in public schools and higher education, so that New Jerseyans continue driving innovation in fields like biotechnology and agriculture and medicine. New Jersey is a donor state precisely because we invest in mass transit and infrastructure, so that workers can commute to high-paying jobs in New York City and Philadelphia And family and friends in nearby states can easily travel to the Jersey shore.

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Publication:Mena Report
Geographic Code:1U2NJ
Date:Dec 1, 2017
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