The Tax Cut and Jobs Act, currently being forced through the Senate with next-to-no debate, is a shameful abandonment of fiscal responsibility. Despite the talking points being sold so hard, if it is passed, the bill will take hard-earned income from struggling rural communities and puts it into the pockets of mega corporations and the wealthiest Americans.
Here are just a few reasons why farmers, rural communities and our food system are at risk in this tax bill:
- Inflating the federal debt: The tax plan will increase the federal debt by $1.44 trillion, deeply harming America’s fiscal health.
- Cuts to food & agriculture: The bill will require massive cuts to government programs, including an estimated $136 billion for just 2018 alone, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). These cuts would put critical food and farm programs that support farms and rural communities at risk.
- Squeeze on farm finances: The current tax code affords farmers 5 years to carry back farm operating losses, which has been critical to helping farms stay afloat during the most significant downturn in decades. Net farm income has declined by a dramatic 50% over the last several years, and farmers cannot afford this bill’s decrease to a 2-year carryback.
- Healthcare cuts hurt vulnerable farmers: The bill’s cuts to healthcare will drop an alarming 13 million people from healthcare coverage by 2027 and are expected to increase premium costs by 10% over current baselines. Repeal of the individual mandate will disproportionately harm farmers and ranchers, who are older and more likely to have preexisting conditions.
- Elimination of tax deductions for farm cooperatives: The Domestic Production Activities Deduction (Sec. 199) has allowed farm cooperatives to pass an estimated $2 billion directly back to their owners each year. The tax bill repeals this provision, which will harm cooperatives and rural economies that rely on the strength of our farms and ranches.
- Individual rate changes favor wealthy earners, leaving many farmers, rural Americans and middle and low-income households behind. This bill will provide bigger tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. The CBO estimates that by 2021, Americans earning $40,000 or less would be net losers, and by 2027, most people earning less than $75,000 a year would be worse off. Meanwhile, millionaires and those earning $100,000 to $500,000 would be big beneficiaries, immediately and in the long-term.
We can’t afford to stay silent & your voice matters.
Time is of the essence. For the sake of family farmers and ranchers, rural communities and the health of our food system call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and tell your senators to vote NO on the highly flawed Tax Cut & Jobs Act.
Not a fan of phone calls?