Open letter to Sen. Toomey
November 29, 2017
Posted by on
U.S. Senator “for” Pennsylvania
I realize that, as a Philadelphian paid (substantially) less than $100,000 a year, I am not one of those you normally think of as your constituents. Nonetheless, I must implore you to consider the plight of the great majority of Pennsylvanians as you consider the proposal currently pending in the Senate to increase our taxes so that the government can redistribute our money to those your colleagues consider truly deserving: the corporations and the rich.
The proposal passed by the Finance Committee would leave my base tax rate the same (although people paid far more than I would see significant savings, as their tax brackets are eliminated and their rates fall), while eliminating the dependent deduction for my daughter, eliminating or significantly limiting my deductions for local and state income and real estate taxes, further limiting my ability to deduct thousands of dollars in work-related expenses, and eliminating the childcare tax credit. So under this legislation my taxes would increase significantly next year, and apparently might go up even more in few years’ time when provisions sunset.
It would be one thing to raise my taxes in order to fund some worthy goal, such as universal health care or accelerating the conversion to a green economy and so averting the worst consequences of global warming. But to raise my taxes (and those of the vast majority, who must work for a living) in order to hand the money over to the wealthiest among us strikes me as quite outrageous. The United States already suffers economic inequality unparalleled since the eve of the Great Depression. I would hope that the prospect of exacerbating this problem through regressive changes to the tax code would disturb even someone such as yourself, who has built his entire political career around advocating for the interests of the rich and powerful.