TOWS Statement: Tax Bill Would Give Wall Street Massive New Tax Breaks


Carter Dougherty

(202) 251-6700

Washington, DC – The Take on Wall Street campaign denounces the just-unveiled tax bill as a giant giveaway to an industry whose reckless behavior led to a searing recession from which many Americans have not yet recovered.

“Piling tax cuts for Wall Street and multi-millionaire financiers on top of big bank deregulation is precisely what the American economy does NOT need,” said Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform, a member of the campaign. “But the House leadership is proposing to hand billions of dollars over to Wall Street through tax cuts and new loopholes, even as they also serve big banks interests by dismantling rules to make consumers safer and the financial system more stable.”

On Wednesday, Republicans in the House Ways & Means Committee introduced a tax bill that includes proposals to:

  • Lower the corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent, a boon to the largest Wall Street banks like Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs. Bloomberg News estimated this would boost profits at the six largest U.S. banks by $6.4 billion;
  • Institute a lower 25 percent rate for “pass-through” businesses. The plan creates complicated tests for taking advantage of the rate, creating huge opportunities for Wall Street tax gamesmanship;
  • The plan made no mention of closing the carried interest loophole for Wall Street money managers, a Trump campaign promise.

“Halloween is over, and proponents of this tax bill can no longer keep up the masquerade: no matter how they try to dress it up, this tax bill is a bonanza for Wall Street,” said Luísa Galvão, a representative of the Take on Wall Street campaign.  “Instead of rewarding Wall Street manipulation, Congress should be rewriting tax policy to work for ordinary Americans, by closing loopholes and making Wall Street pay its fair share.”

The Take on Wall Street campaign — a coalition of over 50 community groups, unions, consumer advocates and others, including AFL-CIO, Americans for Financial Reform, Americans for Tax Fairness, Communications Workers of America, Institute for Policy Studies and Public Citizen — 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 by:

  • Closing the carried interest loophole which allows billionaire Wall Street money managers to pay lower tax rates than nurses or construction workers
  • Fully closing the bonus loophole, which allows corporations to deduct CEO salaries above 1 million dollars a year from their taxable-income as long as they call it “performance pay.” The House majority plan would close it only for the top 5 executives at a company.
  • Creating a Wall Street sales tax that would discourage short-term bets and generate billions in new revenue for services our communities need.