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The Keystone oil pipeline spills big time in South Dakota; a look at the GOP tax plan and it’s impact on the most vulnerable Americans; and renewed hope for Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters national monument.

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Millionaires Question Tax "Reform" They Say Favors Wealthy

The group Patriotic Millionaires projects that two-thirds of the GOP's proposed tax breaks will go to the top 1 percent of earners. (Pixabay)
The group Patriotic Millionaires projects that two-thirds of the GOP's proposed tax breaks will go to the top 1 percent of earners. (Pixabay)
November 6, 2017

RICHMOND, Va. -- As details of the GOP's tax plan take shape, a group of wealthy business leaders and investors has launched an online tool to help taxpayers see past the political rhetoric and weigh in on the new policies.

Erica Payne is president of the group Patriotic Millionaires. She said politicians often use public speeches calling for tax reform to distract voters from a tax code she said would put more than $1 trillion into the pockets of the richest people in the country.

"If these millionaire tax breaks go through, the middle class is going to pay for them,” Payne said. "They will pay for them in worse roads, worse schools, higher taxes themselves, higher local taxes. So they need to get activated, and they need to impact this tax debate."

Payne said one goal of the Taxpayer Action Center is to help level the playing field and give voters the same access to elected officials as the professional lobbyists and powerful interests that have helped shape the tax plan so far. Proponents of the measure say all Americans will get tax breaks, and claim lowering the corporate tax rate will lead to increased wages and economic growth.

Payne said the new online resource, which taps analysis and data from a dozen think tanks and nonprofits, can help taxpayers fact-check promises made by politicians. She said the plan, giving two-thirds of the proposed tax breaks to the top 1 percent of earners and waiting for that money to trickle down, won't spur economic growth.

She said instead, letting working families keep more of their money would boost the economy because they would spend it on essentials.

"When you give it to rich people, they do not do that,” she said. "They stick it into accounts, because they don't need to spend the money, because they already have more money than they know what to do with. And so it does nothing economically to give tax breaks to millionaires."

Congressional leaders delayed the release of their tax plan while working on it in secret. A version in the House is moving quickly, but is expected to slow in the Senate.

The Patriotic Millionaires' online resource can be found at TaxActionCenter.com.

Dan Heyman, Public News Service - VA