California Forum

McClintock says he’s conservative, but his tax plan just worsens the deficit and hurts the economy

U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove, fields questions at a town hall earlier this year in Roseville.
U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove, fields questions at a town hall earlier this year in Roseville.

In a recent op-ed, “If it’s going to hurt Californians, delay some of the tax plan” (Nov. 11, Forum), Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove, supports massive corporate tax cuts, accompanied by reductions of 1-1.35 percentage points in individual tax rates across the board, without regard for income.

McClintock calls himself a fiscal conservative, but his tax plan is fiscally irresponsible. It would increase our national debt while worsening income inequality, harming economic growth in the long run.

McClintock claims his plan would “leave no taxpayer behind.” Actually, he would put thousands of dollars per year back in the pockets of wealthy CEOs while doing little to nothing for the nearly half of Americans who have no federal tax liability at the end of the year.

Simultaneously, McClintock writes that corporate tax cuts “invariably translate into lower prices, higher wages and greater returns on savings and investments.” This argument is nothing more than a Pollyanna-ish resurrection of trickle-down economics. There are no guarantees that corporations will benevolently share their tax savings with workers or consumers. If we go by recent history, profits translate into higher salaries and bonuses for those at the top, not the rest of us.

Here’s the truth: Corporations already have access to plenty of capital, thanks to low interest rates and years of record profits. To spur economic growth, we don’t need to put even more money in their hands. We need to invest in the American people.

We should be streamlining regulations to make life easier for small business owners. We should be ensuring that even in rural areas of the 4th District, aspiring entrepreneurs can access high-speed internet and participate in the modern economy.

We should be investing in a world-class public education system, including career and technical education – not slashing job training programs and important benefits that allow workers to learn new skills, like the Lifetime Learning Credit.

We should be embracing new ideas and looking to the future, rather than clinging reactively to the failed policies of the past. The time has come for a fresh, independent voice to represent the 4th District in Washington, D.C.

Regina Bateson is a former Foreign Service Officer and a congressional candidate in California’s 4th District;

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