The Texas AFT offices will be closed from Monday, December 18 through January 1, opening again on January 2 in the new year. If you have an emergency, please email email@example.com.
The Hotline also will be taking a break during that time (unless there’s something important that needs to be communicated right away).
We wish you a joyous holiday season and hope you get some rest in as well. But before we all go, there’s one more to-do item highlighted by AFT President Randi Weingarten:
I didn’t think it was possible, but the Republicans have managed to use their conference committee to make their tax bill even sweeter for the rich.
Yet at the same time, your activism has been working. Members of Congress are getting inundated by their constituents’ opposition to this bill, and we were able to mitigate some of the worst effects and harm to the middle class. The conference committee bill puts back some of the middle-class tax benefits, like the teacher tax deduction, the student loan interest deduction, non-taxable graduate tuition waivers, most of the mortgage interest deduction and the deduction for medical expenses.
But even with these changes, this bill is hugely unpopular, as it falls way short of being fair and helping anyone who is not rich. This is hard to believe, since bills to cut taxes typically gain widespread support. However, not in this case, as people see it for what it really is: a holiday present for large corporations, the wealthy and Republican donors at the expense of the middle class and everyone else.
We need to do what we did during the DeVos confirmation and the fight to protect healthcare—we need to flood the phone lines. Call your members of Congress right now and tell them to oppose this tax scam.
People in the top tax bracket are now getting even more money. Corporations got the alternative minimum tax tossed. But middle-class families are still left with a state and local tax “deal” that’s going to raise their taxes while cutting important local services like public schools, police and firefighting. And Paul Ryan has admitted that they will use the hike in the deficit as an excuse to cut Medicaid and Social Security.
And you don’t need to take just my word for it. Even Republican Sen. Marco Rubio can’t understand why his party keeps choosing to give more money to the rich and corporations while refusing to give any bigger credits to middle- and low-income families.
This entire process has been a sham to hide the bill from the American public. Congress needs to slow down so people can actually read what is in the final deal, and it shouldn’t be voted on until Sen.-elect Doug Jones is seated.
I know it’s the holidays, and you deserve a break, but I need you to make a call.