Letter to Editor: Harris Flip-Flops on Deficit-Spending to Support Corporate Tax Giveaway


Talbot Rising, an Eastern Shore nonprofit progressive group, is demanding that Rep. Andy Harris (MD-01) explain why he is flip-flopping on deficit-spending to support the new House tax plan that raises the deficit by an estimated $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years while enriching corporations and hurting local taxpayers.

“Congressman Harris is betraying his constituents by supporting a corporate tax giveaway at the expense of Maryland residents. Who is he really representing? His constituents – or the big-money donors to his campaign? ” asked Robert Tiernan, a spokesman for Talbot Rising. “The House GOP tax bill hurts middle-class taxpayers by eliminating important deductions for college loans, medical expenses, and most of all state and local taxes. The bill would also damage the housing market on the Eastern Shore and hurt the construction industry with changes to mortgage deductions and property taxes.”

For years, Harris has presented Powerpoint slides complaining about the deficit, but now Harris has sold out to corporate interests to explode the deficit. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, in fact, says many middle-class families will end up paying more taxes.

In this Republican plan, corporate taxes are slashed. The estate tax is whacked, benefiting only the very wealthy. The alternative minimum tax, designed to make sure the wealthy pay their fair share, is gone.

Rep. Harris owes the 700,000 people of the First District a full explanation instead of a 100-word statement.

Here are some questions Harris must answer:

Why is he supporting a bill that bestows on companies a huge tax cut with no assurance it will be used to create jobs at home instead of providing smart research and employment-growth incentives?

Why does he support raising the bottom tax rate from 10 percent to 12 percent and eliminating medical expense deductions — while cutting the estate tax and AMT for wealthy families?

Why is Andy Harris selling out local Maryland communities by getting rid of the deduction for state and local taxes? In Maryland, state and local income tax totaled more than $8.5 billion, 10 times the amount of property taxes, which also faces limits.

Rep. Harris owes the 700,000 people of the First District a full explanation instead of a 100-word statement. In a town hall meeting nine months ago, his only one on the Eastern Shore this year, he promised to hold another general meeting on any major legislation.
We’re waiting, Congressman.

Bob Tiernan
Talbot Rising
Talbot County, Maryland

Letters to Editor

  1. David Lloyd says

    As a taxpayer in St. Michaels, I am frankly astonished that Congressman Harris could support the “Cut, Cut, Cut” legislative proposal! Here I thought he had principles supporting budgetary discipline! Not only will the federal budget deficit increase dramatically but many of his constituents will be hurt by, as noted above, removal of the state and local income tax deductions. All of this to further benefit corporations and the richest 1/2 of 1% in this country! And, increasing the lowest rate from 10% to 12%? That is making things even worse for people at the lowest income levels who are being promised so-called “benefits.”

    Congressman, please stand up for your people. Your colleagues in New York and New Jersey are doing just that!

  2. William Burton says

    This is liberal “progressive” grandstanding which only serves to obfuscate the real issues at hand and hurl pejorative invectives at our Congressman assigning him motives that may or not be germane to his thought process.

    First, the AMT is hardly limited to wealthy individuals. The point at which a married couple filing jointly potentially becomes taxed by this crazy tax is $84 500 for 2017. So a family of four making $84 501 is wealthy? Really?

    Second, the elimination of some deductions for state and local taxes is sound. Some states like Maryland have excessively bloated and horribly inefficient government “services”. The pressure to reduce this bloat should come from the elimination of outrageous state taxes funding Brobdinagian and preposterously inefficient governmental largesse. I spent most of my life in Texas, and the vastly more efficient state and local governments did fine with no tax on incomes.

    Third, the death tax, aka the estate tax taxes yet again monies used to grow a business, invest, and grow wealth for our nation’s future. The idea it is better spent on more government waste of which there are innumerable examples is laughable. Your stunningly ignorant comment that its removal only benefits the “very wealthy” belies such a lack of understanding that I remain flabbergasted. The horribly misguided and confiscatory Maryland estate tax has served to cause many wealthy individuals to flee the state. A CPA friend who has many wealthy clients has told me he has not one client potentially subject to this tax remain in Maryland as their official residence.

    And finally your fourth point regarding cutting corporate tax is breathtakingly naive. Even the liberal NPR agrees the US has the highest corporate tax rate amongst developed “first world” countries. In an increasingly global economy the home base of a corporation becomes less and less important as customs, communications, and transportation becomes immaterial the highest corporate tax rate will not ensure our competitiveness.

    Your thought process is out of synch with the modern world. Confiscatory taxes do not work and are not good for anyone.

  3. Alan Boisvert says

    Forget Harris, he is a joke. Support Allison Galbraith for the first.

    • William Burton says

      I am no fan of Andy Harris, but Allison Galbraith is the same sort of tax and spend liberal we have been sending to Washington for years. Definition of crazy is doing the same thing and expecting different results. It is idiocy to elect her and the people of Maryland’s First are way too smart for that same old pablum

  4. Willard T Engelskirchen says

    According to a graphic from the New York Times, more Maryland residents take advantage of the state and local tax deduction than residents of any other state. And Andy Harris wants to take that deduction away? Help me with this.

    • William Burton says

      In my opinion you are looking at this backwards. Maryland residents have to take advantage of the existing tax deductions because our inefficient and wasteful state government finds it easier to tax us than run an efficient operation. The solution is obvious, we need to get our government reined in and living within a reasonable budget and stop with their unreasonable.

      Attempting to parse where you pay taxes is a loser’s game.

      • Robert Tiernan says

        I think you’re looking at it the wrong way.
        1. More than 900,000 state residents will pay more under this bill in order to subsidize corporations.
        2. Only 80 estates in Maryland would benefit from the lifting of the estate tax.
        3. It’s been proven that companies do not use their tax breaks to do more research.
        4. If you think Maryland is wasteful, take it up with your governor in the next election.

        • William Burton says

          Oh my. I am sure you are right. After all Trump and the economy are a disaster. Just look at the stock market and unemployment. Oh wait……..

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