Tax Changes Senator Susan Collins Fought For in Stimulus Ensure 88 Percent of Benefits Will Go to Americans Earning Over $1 Million Per Year
Portland, MAINE — Today, the US Department of Labor announced 5.2 million Americans, including over 13,000 Mainers, have filed new claims for unemployment benefits in the past week.
As the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus crisis deepens for Maine families and small businesses, analysis of tax changes in the coronavirus stimulus legislation reveals that provisions Maine Senator Susan Collins and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell fought to include benefit many of the same companies and wealthy individuals who received tax breaks in the 2017 Republican tax plan. The measure included in the fine print of the bill ensures that 88 percent of the benefits will go to the top one percentof Americans earning over $1 million dollars per year.
“Instead of expanding programs to help struggling Maine families put food on the table, Susan Collins used the stimulus bill to help Mitch McConnell sneak in more tax breaks for their billionaire donors,” said Willy Ritch, executive director of 16 Counties Coalition. “Mainers are paying attention and will hold her accountable for this pattern of putting the interests of Mitch McConnell and the one percent before the needs of everyday Mainers.”
Earlier this week, the 16 Counties Coalition launched a new ad — the first in a series — featuring everyday Mainers calling on Senator Collins to stop listening to Senator Mitch McConnell and start listening to them. The first ad in the series, shot using Zoom and FaceTime, features a Mainer named Louise, who is sheltering in place at her home in Dresden. “You supported Mitch McConnell by voting for billions in tax breaks for big corporations,” Louise says in the ad. “Senator Collins, it’s time for you to take a stand and support Mainers over Mitch.”
According to a report on the details of the coronavirus by the Joint Committee on Taxation, the changes to tax laws will allow massive corporations, particularly real-estate investors like White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner, and President Trump’s son-in-law, to write-off 100 percent of their losses. These companies also received significant tax benefits in the 2017 Republican Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) championed by President Trump and Majority Leader McConnell, and for which Senator Collins cast the deciding vote. While they claimed the bill would benefit middle-class taxpayers, 83 percent of the TCJA tax cuts went to the one percent.
At the same time, the two provisions of the coronavirus stimulus touted as solving the mounting hardships of Maine families and small business owners — the Paycheck Protection Program and direct payments to individuals — have been plagued with problems, and have proven to be far less generous than lawmakers made them out to be.
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About the 16 Counties CoalitionThe 16 Counties Coalition is a year-long grassroots advocacy campaign aimed at amplifying the voices of families and working Mainers and encouraging Senator Susan Collins to vote in favor of the people she was elected to represent and defend. The campaign will mobilize members through small- and large-scale events, through digital action, and paid television, radio, and digital ads.
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