The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) came out against the “Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017” that recently passed in the House of Representatives and is now moving on to the Senate.

We at Pax Christi USA encourage you to educate yourself about this unconscionable tax plan, to call your Senator and advocate against it, and to thank your bishop, as as a member of the USCCB, for coming out against the “Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017.”

The USCCB wrote letters to the House of Representatives and the Senate about the tax bill, and here is an overview with quotes and information taken directly from these USCCB documents:

The bishops find this tax bill will not care for the poor:

  • Raises taxes on the poor and cuts taxes for the wealthy
  • Tax increases will take place for people who only make $10,000 – $20,000 and $20,000 – $40,000 a year while people who make over $1 million will receive cuts.

Tax provisions for low-income, vulnerable people being eliminated:

  • Work Opportunity Tax Credit – incentivizes hiring veterans, people in poverty, and people who are disabled.
  • Tax deductions for tuition and student loans
  • Income tax credit for those who retired on disability
  • Tax incentives for employers who offer moving expenses

The bishops find this tax bill does not strengthen families since it:

  • Removes the adoption tax credit
  • Repeals adoption assistance programs, even for children with special needs
  • Some larger families will pay more taxes
  • Eliminates medical expenses deduction for families dealing with chronic illness
  • Eliminates employer incentives for child care
  • Repeals Mortgage tax credit for first-time home buyers at certain income levels
  • Makes it more difficult for immigrant taxpayers to receive the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit

The tax code will no longer be progressive. A progressive tax code taxes those at lower-income at a lower percentage and those at a higher-income at a higher percentage. Pope St. John XXIII wrote that a progressive tax code is required by “justice and equity.”

Ways the tax code will no longer be progressive:

  • Repeals the estate tax – applies to singles who have wealth of $5.5 million or more and married couples who have wealth of $11 million or more
  • Eliminates the Alternative Minimum Tax – designed to prevent high-income earners from avoiding tax liability through loopholes

The bishops find this tax bill is unjust and does not respect the common good:

  • Not taxing the wealthy increase our national deficit to $1.5 trillion over ten years, which will then be used as political fodder to cut necessary social safety net programs
  • Trickle-down economics is not sufficient
  • Economic growth from corporate tax cuts cannot be guaranteed
  • Charitable deductions will increasingly be a benefit for only high-income families

8 thoughts on “See What the Bishops Have to Say about the Republican Tax Overhaul

  1. Much relieved to see USCCB finally getting up the courage to confront the abomination that is the Republican “tax reform” plan. Thoroughly well documented, appropriate objections of Bishops to this totally immoral and unjust bill. I am praying Catholic voters, together with Catholic office-holders and seekers, wake up to and get involved with the American Solidarity Party. Clearly this is an idea whose time has come. God love you all at Pax Christi

  2. I will call my legislature on this very important issue and forward this email to my Pax Christi members. Thank you for keeping us informed and all you do to create a more just and peaceful world.
    Pat Belongie

  3. We need tax cuts badly. The people, especially the poor need employment and opportunity, not hand outs and charity. You are doing a huge disservice by mischaracterizing the tax cuts as ‘trickle down’ economics. That phase is a meaningless left wing slogan which has been debunked for years. The proposed tax cuts in no way harm the poor and their children, mothers and fathers or aunts and uncles. A booming economy is good for the entire country, its a shame that you do not recognize this.

  4. I completely disagree with Patrick T. Brennan who stands for taxing the poor lower middle class. Contrary to his position, this is “trickle down” economics on steroids. Over the past 30 years it has been clearly demonstrated that this does not work. Blessings on our episcopal leaders who have taken this courageous and prophetic stance against the rich and powerful. Speaking truth to power is what prophets in our tradition have always done….

    1. BTW Rev you are aware that under the Obama administration the financial gap between white families and black families widened significantly. That is the result of liberal economic policies. Trump’s policies will reverse this trend. Guaranteed!

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