SALT LAKE CITY — The GOP tax plan handed corporations a big bag of presents but left most Utahns with lumps of coal, a Democratic U.S. Senate candidate said Thursday.
Standing in front of a paper fireplace, Salt Lake County Councilwoman Jenny Wilson pulled coal out of stockings for families, children, workers, homeowners, charities and health care. She then emptied neatly wrapped packages from a large "corporations" stocking.
"The richer you are, the more you get," said Wilson, who is running against seven-term Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.
Congress passed a sweeping tax overhaul Wednesday that Republicans say will lead to bigger paychecks for middle-class Americans, economic growth and more jobs. Hatch, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, played a critical role in pushing the bill through.
"I feel like Hatch has betrayed Utah families," Wilson said.
Hatch said the plan will lead to tax cuts for the vast majority of Utah families.
"We’re lowering rates across the board for the American people. We’re ensuring businesses, both small and large, can better compete and bring more jobs and investment back home. And, we’re remaking the tax code in way that will allow more individuals and families invest in their future," he said after the bill passed.
Wilson said the biggest problem with the legislation is that it doesn't fix anything. "And when will we? We're doing the exact opposite," she said.
She also lamented that future generations will have to pay for the $1.5 trillion the legislation is projected to add to the federal deficit.
Having worked on federal budgets as chief of staff to the late Utah Democratic Rep. Bill Orton, Wilson said she would hesitate to create tax reform that adds to the debt. It's not fiscally conservative, she said.
"I'm primarily concerned that Utahns are going to be left with a bill, and we have missed a golden opportunity to narrow the income gap in our country," she said.16 comments on this story
Wilson said while she favors lowering the corporate tax rate, the legislation doesn't require companies to invest in the community, create jobs or give pay raises. Rather, she said, they could pay shareholders.
Hatch hailed the repeal of Obamacare’s "burdensome and regressive" individual mandate tax, which he said dismantled a major aspect of that law.
Wilson said the Affordable Care Act needs some fixes, but eliminating the mandate "destabilizes" the system and will create more uninsured people.