You are on page 1of 5


Heitkamp Voted For Middle-Class Tax Breaks

December 2017: Heitkamp Voted To Make The Middle Class Tax Cuts In The GOP Tax Bill Permanent. On
December 1, 2017, Senator Heitkamp voted for an amendment intended to “make the middle-class tax cuts permanent”
within the tax reform bill. The vote was on a motion to commit, and would have sent the bill, “back to the Finance
Committee.” [Congressional Record, 12/1/17]

October 2017: Heitkamp Introduced Legislation To Ensure Individuals Making Under $250,000 Would Not See A
Tax Increase. According to a press release from the Office of Senator Heitkamp, “U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today
offered an amendment to the Senate budget bill that would prohibit taxes from being raised on the middle income. The
amendment will receive a vote later today. ‘It’s our job to support hard working families, workers, and retirees – those in all of
our states struggling to get by, pay their bills, and feed their families,’ Heitkamp said. ‘That’s what this amendment is about. It’s
about guaranteeing that those making under $250,000 don’t see their taxes go up in any legislation, including any tax reform
proposal.’” [Office of Senator Heitkamp, 10/19/17]

December 2015: Heitkamp Voted For The 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act. On December 18, 2015, Senator
Heitkamp voted for the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act. The bill was signed into law later that day. [H.R.2029,
Introduced 4/24/15]

• Bill Included $622 Billion In Tax Breaks. According to USA Today, “President Obama signed a huge tax and spending
package into law on Friday following congressional votes that avoided a year-end showdown over the budget and ended
legislative business until lawmakers return in 2016. The Senate's 65-33 vote approved both the $1.1 trillion catch-all
spending bill and a $622 billion series of tax breaks.” [USA Today, 12/18/15]

• The Atlantic: Bill Included “Tax Credits For Low-Income Americans.” According to The Atlantic, the bill included
an “extension of tax credits for low-income Americans.” [The Atlantic, 12/18/15]

• New York Times: Bill “Permanently” Extended “Tax Breaks For Middle-Class.” According to the New York
Times, “Other Democrats said the opportunity to extend permanently the tax breaks for middle-class and working-poor
Americans was too important to pass up. ‘We have been trying forever to get something good for the middle class and the
working poor — and this is a jackpot,’ the Senate Democratic leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, said in an interview.” [New
York Times, 12/17/15]

• Reuters: Under The Bill, “Middle-Class Americans Also Gain. Students, Low-Income Parents And Teachers
Will Receive Tax Aid.” According to Reuters, “Middle-class Americans also gain. Students, low-income parents and
teachers will receive tax aid, attracting support for the legislation from the White House and congressional Democrats.”
[Reuters, 12/18/15]

• The Hill: Bill Included “Several Business Tax Breaks Such As The Research And Development Tax Credit And
Enhanced Small Business Expensing Under Section 179 Of The Tax Code.” According to The Hill, “The measure
makes permanent several business tax breaks such as the research and development tax credit and enhanced small
business expensing under section 179 of the tax code.” [The Hill, 12/17/15]

• New York Times: “Tucked Inside The Mammoth Tax And Spending Bill Passed By Congress This Month Is A
Much-Anticipated Provision That Will Lock In A Large Tax Break For Small-Business Capital Investments.”
According to the New York Times, “Tucked inside the mammoth tax and spending bill passed by Congress this month is
a much-anticipated provision that will lock in a large tax break for small-business capital investments that has been
temporary until now. The break is intended to make it more affordable for small companies to buy up to $500,000 a year
worth of equipment like computers, machinery and vehicles. Known as the Section 179 deduction, the tax provision
allows qualifying capital items to be written off immediately on a business’s taxes, instead of being depreciated over a
number of years. That has the effect of lowering a business’s taxable profits, sometimes significantly. The deduction is
essentially limited to small and midsize companies.” [New York Times, 12/23/15]

• New York Times: “For Equipment Dealers Like Sherry Wuebben, Who Sells Farm Machinery, The Permanence
[Of The Section 179 Cap] Is As Big A Deal As The Tax Break Itself.” According to the New York Times, “For
equipment dealers like Sherry Wuebben, who sells farm machinery, the permanence is as big a deal as the tax break itself.
For the last few years, she and her customers have watched nervously as the year’s final days slipped away, wondering
when — and whether — Congress would renew the deal that many business owners rely on to finance their big-ticket
purchases. […] Signed on Friday by President Obama, the 233-page tax deal includes in its myriad tax breaks one that
permanently sets the Section 179 cap at $500,000, subject to inflation adjustments.” [New York Times, 12/23/15]

Cramer’s Tax Vote Costs North Dakota’s Middle Class

The Hill: CBO Predicted The Tax Bill Could “Increase The National Debt By $1.9 Trillion Between 2018 And
2028.” According to The Hill, “The GOP's signature tax law is projected to increase the national debt by $1.9 trillion between
2018 and 2028, according to a new report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).” [The Hill, 4/9/18]

Bloomberg: CBO Predicted The Tax Bill “Will Increase The Deficit By Almost $1.9 Trillion Over The Next 11
Years, When Accounting For Its Macroeconomic Effects And Increased Debt-Service Costs.” According to
Bloomberg, “The report includes new projections for the effects of the tax legislation -- saying it will increase the deficit by
almost $1.9 trillion over the next 11 years, when accounting for its macroeconomic effects and increased debt-service costs.”
[Bloomberg, 4/9/18]


Republicans Looked At Social Security And Medicare Cuts

Representative Tom Cole Suggested Looking To Social Security And Medicare To Help Tackle The Debt.
According to CNBC, “And as an advocate of smaller government, he insists deficits produced by spending programs hurt
more than deficits produced by tax cuts. ‘If someone wants to get serious about debt, come talk to me about entitlements,’ he
explains, pointing toward the Social Security and Medicare behemoths. ‘Tax cuts produce growth, entitlement spending
doesn’t.’” [CNBC, 12/15/17]

Representative Paul Ryan: “We’re Going To Have To Get Back Next Year At Entitlement Reform, Which Is How
You Tackle The Debt And The Deficit.” According to The Hill, “House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Wednesday said
House Republicans will aim to cut spending on Medicare, Medicaid and welfare programs next year as a way to trim the
federal deficit. ‘We’re going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the
deficit,’ Ryan said during an interview on Ross Kaminsky’s talk radio show.” [The Hill, 12/6/17]

New York Times: “If Deficits Continue To Swell, It Would Depress Economic Growth And Lawmakers Would
Likely Have To Consider Raising Taxes Or Cutting Spending To Compensate As An Aging Population Puts
Pressure On Federal Entitlement Programs Like Social Security And Medicare.” According to the New York Times,
“Republicans used to consider themselves deficit hawks, but their plan will add at least $1.5 trillion to the federal debt over a
decade. Many economists think that it will be more than this, because Republican tax-writers are using optimistic assumptions
about economic growth when assessing their plan. If deficits continue to swell, it would depress economic growth and
lawmakers would likely have to consider raising taxes or cutting spending to compensate as an aging population puts pressure
on federal entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.” [New York Times, 11/2/17]
Vox: In Wake Of Tax Bill, Republican Leaders Looked To Cut Social Security And Medicare. According to Vox,
“House Speaker Paul Ryan and other top Republican leaders, fresh off a tax bill that is estimated to add at least $1 trillion to
the national debt, are already sounding the alarm about an out-of-control deficit problem. Their targets for closing the gap
include Social Security, Medicare, and food stamps. ‘We’re going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is
how you tackle the debt and the deficit,’ Ryan said on a talk radio show. One of his top spending appropriators echoed the
sentiment. ‘If someone wants to get serious about debt, come talk to me about entitlements,’ Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) told
CNBC. ‘Tax cuts produce growth; entitlement spending doesn’t.’” [Vox, 12/20/17]

Cramer: “Entitlement” Reform Could Come After Tax Reform

Cramer Would Not Commit To Not Cutting Social Security Or Medicare In Order To Deal With The Debt Created
By Tax Reform. CALLER: “It looks like the tax bill could result in a debt increase that could lead to cuts in Medicare and
Social Security. Congressman Cramer, can you commit today to not cutting Social Security or Medicare in the future? Yes or
no?” CRAMER: “Well, the two are not related at all. That’s one of the scarier tactics of—" CALLER: “Well, if we have debt
increase, they might rationalize that we have to cut Medicare and Social Security.” CRAMER: “Well, just to bring everybody
up to speed on the debt, right now, it’s $20.5 trillion, half of which was driven up over the last eight years under the previous
president. […] We need to reform all of our programs, not just to make sure people keep them but to make sure they can be
kept for the long haul because both Medicare and Social Security, as you talked about, are on a path to insolvency. So we need
to shore up both of them not to cut them, we need to shore them up for the long haul.” [WDAY – ‘The Rob RePort’ –
Interview with Kevin Cramer, 12/20/17] (AUDIO)

Cramer On Paul Ryan’s Comments About “Entitlement” Reform Coming After Tax Reform: “We Have To Get
After Entitlement Reform.” BERG: “Let me ask you this, sir. Many people are saying, ‘OK, you’re a deficit hawk. How are
you going to pay for this if it adds $1 trillion to the debt. I want to shape it this way, because you could say, ‘Hey, Chris, we'll
have economic growth, that will pay for it.’ One option is what's next maybe on the docket for Republicans, and I want to see
if you concur with this. Speaker Ryan has now come out and said, and he couple of your colleagues, and I'm quoting him here
from a recent radio show: ‘We're going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt
and the deficit.’ Are you on board with this for entitlement reform in 2018? And if so, how specifically?” CRAMER: “Well, we
have to get after entitlement reform, Chris, because that’s the only way to get to the debt and deficit. Over two-thirds of our
budget is entitlements. If we don't deal with that, not only do we not deal with the debt if we don’t deal with it, but the
entitlement programs like social security and medicare are going to go broke.” [KXJB – ‘Point of View with Chris Berg’ –
Interview with Kevin Cramer, 12/19/17] (VIDEO)

Cramer: “Entitlement” Reform Was To Come After Tax Reform. CRAMER: “But with regard to the entitlement piece,
you are right. He made that pledge, and he's pretty well committed to it, at least in the first term. And so this is where the tax
reform comes in. Tax reform is aimed at not only, you know, sharing the burden and hopefully we'll add deficit reduction to
it—it has to, or it can’t become permanent law and we can't do it under budget reconciliation. That's some of the nerdy, you
know, swamp talk but budget reconciliation is what allows us to pass it with just 50 votes as opposed to 60 in the Senate. So it
has to be deficit-neutral and have some deficit reduction over 10 years. Well, his tax package, and this tax package is aimed at
growing the economy. So the first phase of getting to balance and to paying off debt is to grow the economy. Remember he
made reference yesterday to the trillions of dollars that are stranded overseas. Those are dollars of American companies profits
that we would punish if they brought him back to the United States. Well, if we get this tax thing done, we provide a short
holiday on that, lowering it to 10%. The rates on that repatriated money and to bring back trillions of dollars to go to work in
our economy and then, with the lower rate and the flatter rate, that generates more revenue. We start to get that balance and
we get people to work. The government becomes less necessary because you have now, you have now, you know, more
people working and fewer people on the programs. Then I think, you know, we get all that done, then I think entitlement
reform comes after that. Get welfare reform done, get entitlement reform either late in this term or early in the next term.”
[KTGO-AM – ‘What’s On Your Mind’ – Interview with Kevin Cramer, 9/7/17] (AUDIO)


Tax Cuts For Wealthy
Grand Forks Herald: Tax Plan Would Give “The Largest Benefits […] To The Wealthy.” According to the Grand
Forks Herald, “The plan would cut taxes in 2018 for the vast majority of households, with by far the largest benefits going to
the wealthy.” [Grand Forks Herald, 12/20/17]

New York Times Dealbook HEADLINE: “Tax Cuts Benefit The Ultra Rich, But Not The Merely Rich.” [New York
Times, 12/18/17]

Joint Committee On Taxation Estimated That The Final Tax Bill Provided The Largest Benefits To High-Income
Individuals. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “The final tax bill that the House and Senate will vote
on this week provides by far the largest benefits to high-income people, and many middle- and lower-income households
would end up worse off, new Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimates show.” [Center on Budget and Policy
Priorities, 12/19/17; Joint Committee on Taxation, 12/18/17]

The Atlantic HEADLINE: “Why The GOP Tax Cut Will Make Wealth Inequality So Much Worse.” [The
Atlantic, 12/19/17]

Vox HEADLINE: “The Republican Tax Bill Got Worse: Now The Top 1% Gets 83% Of The
Gains.” [Vox, 12/18/17]

GQ HEADLINE: “Trump Explains The GOP Tax Bill To His Wealthy Friends: ‘You All Just Got A Lot
Richer.’” [GQ, 12/24/18]

The Hill HEADLINE: “Rubio: GOP Tax Bill ‘Probably Went Too Far’ To Help Corporations.” [The Hill, 12/29/17]

Corporate Tax Breaks

Corporations Expected Tax Cut

The Atlantic: GOP Tax Bill “Was Always An Enduring Corporate Tax Cut Advertised As Fast Middle-Class Tax
Relief.” According to The Atlantic, “It all adds up to this: The GOP law was always an enduring corporate tax cut advertised
as fast middle-class tax relief.” [The Atlantic, 2/28/18]

Final GOP Tax Bill Would Cut Corporate Tax From 35 Percent To 21 Percent. According to the Washington Post, “A
massive tax cut for corporations: Starting on Jan. 1, 2018, big businesses' tax rate would fall from 35 percent to just 21 percent,
the largest one-time rate cut in U.S. history for the nation's largest companies. The House and Senate bills originally had the
big-business tax rate falling to 20 percent, but Republicans were not able to make the math work to keep the rate that low and
start it right away in the new year, so they compromised by moving the rate to 21 percent. It still amounts to roughly a $1
trillion tax cut for businesses over the next decade.” [Washington Post, 12/15/17]

CNBC HEADLINE: “Few Large US Companies Say They'll Use Tax Savings To Boost Wages, CNBC Survey
Finds.” [CNBC, 1/18/18]

CNN Money HEADLINE: “Only A Small Slice Of Corporate America Has Shared Tax Savings With Workers So
Far.” [CNN Money, 1/3/18]

Health Insurance Companies Expected To Gain Billions

Axios: “Large Health Insurance Companies Would Be Among The Biggest Winners Under Republicans’ Tax
Overhaul.” According to Axios, “Large health insurance companies would be among the biggest winners under Republicans’
tax overhaul bill. Nearly all of their business is based in the U.S. and they consequently pay close to the full 35% corporate tax
rate.” [Axios, 12/11/17]

Axios: As A Result Of The Tax Bill, Health Insurance Companies Were Expected To “Add Tens Of Billions Of
Dollars To Their Bottom Lines […] But Only A Fraction Of That Money Will Benefit Patients.” According to Axios,
“Health care companies will add tens of billions of dollars to their bottom lines this year thanks to savings from the
Republican tax cut package. But only a fraction of that money will benefit patients.” [Axios, 3/5/18]

• Axios HEADLINE: “Tax Cuts Will Save Health Care Companies Billions — But Not Patients.” [Axios, 3/5/18]