TOWS Statement: House Tax Bill a Gift to Wall Street


Carter Dougherty
(202) 251-6700

Washington, DC – The Take on Wall Street campaign denounces the passage of a tax bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would give Wall Street and the 1% over $1 trillion in tax breaks while leaving many middle-income Americans paying higher taxes, increasing the public deficit, and leading to deep cuts in important public services.

“This legislation funnels billions of dollars to profitable Wall Street banks and wealthy private fund managers, on top of unfair tax loopholes and tax breaks they already enjoy,” said Lisa Donner, Executive Director at Americans for Financial Reform, a member of the coalition. “Real tax reform would involve restructuring tax policies so they work for everyday people, not reward manipulation by the richest few in our society. This vote rigs the system even further in favor of Wall Street, and would make life harder and less secure for many millions of Americans.”

“This vote is a clear pledge of allegiance to Wall Street,” said Luísa Galvão, a representative with the Take on Wall Street campaign. “Now more than ever, we must restore our financial system to its proper function: enabling an economy that works for all Americans, by closing tax loopholes and making Wall Street pay its fair share.”

Among other provisions, the House’s tax legislation:

  • Is a giveaway to big banks like Wells Fargo, which stand to be among the biggest winners of a provision to lower the corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent;
  • Will result in a massive giveaway to hedge funds and other Wall Street firms through a provision that reduces the top rate for “pass-through” businesses, while inviting tax gamesmanship by powerful and sophisticated financial players;
  • Allows Wall Street banks to dodge taxes on the huge piles of profit being stashed offshore under proposals to tax corporations’ accumulated offshore profits at a discounted rate of 14%, as opposed to the 35% they should pay under current law. JPMorgan and Citigroup would be among the top five companies to benefit from this repatriation break: JPMorgan would avoid paying $5.3 billion in taxes on their accumulated offshore profits, and Citigroup would get to pocket $7.9 billion. And under the bill’s proposed territorial system, U.S. corporations would no longer pay taxes on profits they book offshore in the future;
  • Preserves the carried interest loophole that Trump promised to close, which allows wealthy private equity and other Wall Street money managers to be taxed at a lower rate than nurses and firefighters. While millionaires and billionaires would get to keep their loopholes, tax breaks for regular people would be taken away, like the deduction families can take for out-of-pocket medical expenses, deductions that students can take on student loan interest, and deductions for teachers who buy school supplies with their own money.

The Take on Wall Street campaign — a coalition of over 50 community groups, unions, consumer advocates and others — is urging Congress to oppose tax cuts for Wall Street and the 1%, and adopt a set of tax reform measures that would raise more than $1 trillion in additional revenue and discourage dangerous Wall Street speculation.