SANTA FE — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told a group of mostly educators in Santa Fe on Friday that President Donald Trump’s tax plan approved by a Republican Congress is nothing but a scam.
Pelosi, D-Calif., was joined by New Mexico Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján, National Education Association New Mexico Executive Director Charles Bowyer, and Sandoval County Treasurer Laura Montoya for a discussion at the NEA’s Santa Fe office as part of the nationwide “Repeal the Trump Tax” tour. The series events to is to culminate April 15, the traditional deadline for filing income tax returns.
The purpose, in Pelosi’s words, is to warn the public that the GOP tax plan “is a scam, a major scam and it’s being presented as something that is supposed to be good for working families in our country. It is just the opposite.”
Pelosi said the American people were promised that the plan would generate growth in the economy, provide good paying jobs and reduce the country’s deficit. “None of that was accomplished,” Pelosi said, adding that the changes were made in the dead of night with no transparency.
Instead, “They’re saying we’ll give tax cuts to corporate America with incentives to take jobs overseas, and they’ll pay for it off the backs of poor children and seniors,” she said.
Pelosi was referring to budget cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and other programs that affect the youngest and oldest Americans. “On one hand they are trying to sell a bill of goods; on the other hand they’re saying they have to cut Medicare, Medicaid, and $200 billion out of education,” she said.
The Republican Party issued a news release saying Pelosi’s “tax hike tour” serves “to remind voters that Democrats are committed to rolling back the sweeping tax cut recently passed into law and ending pay raises and bonuses for workers” that have resulted from lower taxes on businesses.
The state GOP said Pelosi has promised “that Democrats will raise taxes if given the chance.”
Luján said “the Republican assault on the Affordable Care Act” by removing the individual insurance mandate as part of the tax bill will result in higher premiums for those who do have health care. He said some analysts predict that premiums will increase 50 percent by 2021 and add another $1.8 to $2.3 trillion to the deficit.
Pelosi, asked what the American people can do, said they need to get involved.
“Just know your power,” she said, adding that women are now gaining power by marching and speaking up and young people are having their voices heard about gun safety. “It’s the power of presence, of showing up, of being there.”