My Congressman is Tom Reed of NY-23. A staunch Trump supporter and one of the key members of the Ways and Means Committee responsible for the GOP tax bill. I called his office at 10:30 this morning and spoke with one of his staff members for 15 minutes. Here are the questions I asked and the answers I received.
Q. How many expert Congressional hearings has Mr Reed attended?
A. Don’t know exactly. There have been a few. Also he is on Ways and Means which had some hearings.
Q. Has Mr Reed read the entire bill, all 1000 pages ?
A. Yes. He has read the entire bill.
Q. Does Mr Reed gain financially from this bill, in the sense of the “Corker Kickback”? Any specific provisions which help him?
A. Do not know. Thinks not, however.
Q. According to some analyses, over the next 10 years 83% of the tax benefits go to the top 5% of people and corporations. Why does Mr Reed think the top earners need a break more than the bottom 95%?
A. Not familair with that analysis so can’t speak to it. The idea is to be pro-growth which will create jobs.
My follow up: Isn’t that what George Bush tried and it did not create jobs, called supply side?
A. Would not characterize it. Not familiar enough with the Bush plan to respond.
Q. The tax law keeps in place giving tax credits for taxes paid abroad. Doesn’t this discourage companies from creating jobs in the US if they can continue to take an overseas tax credit?
A. Is not familar with this provision. Can’t answer.
My follow up: If you want job creation at home wouldn’t it be better to tie any tax breaks to spending on jobs in the USA? Make job creation in the US a requirement for getting the tax break?
A. Will pass on my idea to the Congressman.
Q. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities calculated that 10,000,000 lower income families would get an increase in the child tax care credit of $75 a year. That amounts to an increase of 50 cents a day. Is this a good increase for poor people raising children?
A. The child credit remains and has been increased so poor families get a $2,000 tax credit, which in an increase. And they can get $1,400 in taxes returned.
Q. On April 15, 2011 when Mr Obama was president, Mr Reed released this statement: “We are borrowing $58,000 per second on the backs of our children and grandchildren… Reducing spending and getting the national debt under control in the single most important issue…. Trillions of private dollars sit on the sidelines waiting to see if we are serious about reducing the deficit and paying down our debt….” Has Mr Reed changed his mind abut the deficit?
A. We are concerned about the deficit and debt. We are pro-growth and Mr Reed is concerned about spending.
Follow up: What specific spending does he want to cut?
A. Can’t answer.
The staff member, who was very polite and patient with me said he would try to contact others who could answer my questions.
Mr Reed used to be concerned about expanding deficits. Evidently he has concluded that our children have strong backs. They are going to need them.