Tax Cut for Corporations and the Rich

WASHINGTON (PAI)—Seeking to undo a particularly vindictive anti-worker section of the 2017 Trump-Republican tax cut for corporations and the rich, unions and lawmakers are advocating an expanded tax deduction for worker expenses—and not just union dues.

Not only that, but Reps. Donald Norcross, D-N.J., an Electrical Worker, and Brendan Boyle, D-Pa., want to let all workers—union and non-union—deduct any expenses that would help them improve their lot, such as uniforms, travel, job search costs and tools. And union dues.

And those expenses, just like tax credits, would be “above the line,” open to all tax filers, union and non-union, rather than restricted just to people who itemize deductions. The old deduction was restricted to itemizers, and only after they knocked off 2% of their income before taking the deduction.

Even restricted, its elimination cost workers $1 billion more in taxes, the Center for American Progress calculated.

Elimination of the already restricted tax deduction for union dues, while keeping corporate deductions for just about anything—including high honcho pay, country club dues and for hiring union busters—was a particularly nasty part of the Trump-Republican tax cut for corporations and the rich.

That cut was so tilted towards the corporate class and the 1% that they could use it to buy four high-end tires for their limousines every day, while the median tax cut for the lowest-income workers was 11 cents. The median is the point where half of the group is above it and half below.

Union leaders enthusiastically endorsed the legislation, HR4963, which Sen. Bob Casey and then-Rep. Conor Lamb, both D-Pa., had also introduced four years ago. That year, the Center for American Progress calculated elimination of the limited below-the-line partial tax deduction for union dues still cost U.S. workers—those who itemized–$1 billion in taxes they had to pay.

Restoring the deduction is also fair, speakers at the late-July outdoor press conference said. Workers can’t deduct anything, dues included, that would augment their income. Corporations can.


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