Pascrell says Trump tax plan ‘declared war on Paterson’ (VIDEO)

WASHINGTON — Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. said Saturday that President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans “declared war on Paterson and cities across America” by passing a tax bill that gives most of its benefits to corporations and the rich.

Pascrell, a senior member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, made the charges in the Democratic response to Trump’s weekly address. 

“With their mean-spirited policies, congressional Republicans have declared war on Paterson and cities across America like it,” said Pascrell, D-9th Dist. “The GOP tax scam they just jammed into law is Exhibit A of their malfeasance.”

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According to the Tax Policy Center, a progressive research group, the richest 1 percent of taxpayers will receive 21 percent of the benefits, more than the 17 percent going to the bottom 60 percent.

After the tax provisions benefiting the middle class expire in 2025, the richest 1 percent would get 83 percent of the benefits in 2027. Meanwhile taxes would go up for those earning $75,000 or less, according to the Republican-led Joint Committee on Taxation.

“Republicans have gone into overdrive claiming that their disastrous new tax law will be a boon for middle-class Americans,” Pascrell said “That’s a lie.”

Despite some salary increases and one-time bonuses to employees, corporations are spending most of their tax cut to buy back their own stock.

The richest 10 percent of Americans own 80 percent of securities, according to a study by Edward N. Wolff, an economics professor at New York University, and companies have spent $171 billion on stock purchases compared with $6 billion on raising employee pay or handing out one-time bonuses, according to CNN.

The tax legislation curtailed the federal deduction for state and local taxes, which disproportionately affected New Jersey and other high-tax states that send billions of dollars more to Washington than they receive in services.

“The Republican tax scam took away many deductions and credits American families enjoy,” Pascrell said. “The elimination of these deductions will also squeeze communities from coast to coast to make savage cuts to basic services. I’m talking about paying teachers and firefighters, promoting public safety, and paving roads.”

Because the bill caps the state and local tax deduction, every member of the New Jersey congressional delegation except Rep. Tom MacArthur voted against the measure.

MacArthur, R-3rd Dist., refuted Pascrell’s arguments, saying that “working families across the nation are already seeing the benefits” of the new tax law.

“The average family in every single congressional district across the state will save thousands of dollars in federal taxes, allowing hard-working folks to keep more of their money,” MacArthur said. “The facts are catching up to the naysayers and it’s clear that tax reform is lowering the cost of living in New Jersey.”

Jonathan D. Salant may be reached at jsalant@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JDSalant or on Facebook. Find NJ.com Politics on Facebook. 

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