Ed Markey: Repeal Bush and Trump Tax Cuts To Give Universal Basic Income To Illegal Immigrants

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2020/10/05/ed-markey-repeal-bush-and-trump-tax-cuts-to-give-universal-basic-income-to-illegal-immigrants/

Does Senator Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) want to raise taxes?

Yes. He wants to bring them back to Clinton-era levels, Markey said during a debate against Republican and Dover attorney Kevin O’Connor hosted by WGBH News on Monday night.

Markey is a proponent of a pandemic universal basic income retroactive to March. It would give all people in the United States $2,000 a month, including for each child up to three children in a household. That includes illegal immigrants, as CNN points out.

So one question for Markey during the debate was:  how would he pay for it? One of the moderators, Margery Eagan, a self-professed liberal, asked him that while noting it would cost an estimated $5 trillion.

Here is how Markey responded.

“Well, I would begin by repealing the Trump tax cuts,” Markey said. “I would begin by repealing the Bush tax cuts. President Trump is paying $750 a year in taxes while, by the way, getting the best medical care in the world from the federal government — millions of dollars worth of great health care from the federal government. And then we can use those trillions of dollars to take care of ordinary American families who are suffering right now. We have an unemployment rate in Massachusetts right now that is in double digits.

“It’s the worst since the Great Depression,” he continued. “These families are home right now. They’re at their kitchen table. They’re trying to figure out how to pay bills, how to pay the rent, how to pay the mortgage, how to pay for their health care, how to pay for food or their car payments. All of that is on the table. We have to provide that funding for those families and those trillions of dollars should be brought back from those tax cuts and they should be used for helping ordinary families in the Commonwealth.”

Repealing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, a tax cut signed by President Donald Trump, would raise federal government revenue by about $164 billion, according to the left-leaning Tax Policy Center. It would also cost the average family of four more than $2,000 a year, according to the U.S. Treasury. Meanwhile, when President Barack Obama extended the George W. Bush tax cuts, his administration said they saved the typical American family $3,000 a year, according to CBS News. The Democratic staff on the Senate Budget Committee has previously noted that repealing the Bush tax cuts would raise $488 billion in annual revenue for the federal government. Combined, scrapping the two income tax cuts would raise taxes about $5,000 per year per family while bringing in $652 billion for the government.

O’Connor slammed Markey for his answer.

“Senator Markey’s proposal is $96,000 a year for a family of four dating back to March regardless of whether those family members are even citizens of the United States,” O’Connor said. “It is a grossly irresponsible proposal. Someone said to me recently, ‘There’s nothing more expensive than a free lunch.’ Ed Markey throughout this campaign has proposed these free lunch programs that are totally unaffordable that will bankrupt future generations and they are inexcusable.”

As O’Connor noted, Markey’s proposal would cover illegal immigrants. Pro-amnesty America’s Voice says that illegal immigrants paid $27.2 billion in taxes — local, state, and federal — in 2017. They also say there are 11 million illegal immigrants in the country. If that number is accurate, providing them each with $2,000 a month would cost $264 billion for a year; for six months, it would be $132 billion.

However, other sources, such as a study published by researchers at Yale and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in September 2018, say the real number of illegal immigrants in the country was about 22.1 million as of 2018. Providing all of them with $2,000 a year would exceed $500 billion.

Markey did not say where he would get the rest of the money, or how he would fund other programs he proposes such as Medicare-for-All, the Green New Deal, free public college, student loan debt forgiveness, and race reparations.