Heinrich blasts GOP tax plan & reminds us of the same struggles we’ve seen in NM for years

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Sen Martin Heinrich

In an op-ed published earlier this month in USA Today, New Mexico’s Senator Martin Heinrich laid out the ways in which the GOP tax plan now barreling its way through Congress provides tax breaks to the wealthy and well-connected while increasing taxes on hardworking middle class families and increasing health care costs nationwide.

From the op-ed:

Republicans seem to believe we can afford massive amounts of additional deficit spending, because their tax plan busts the budget by $1.5 trillion over 10 years to provide more tax breaks for the wealthy and special interests. If Republicans insist on deficit spending, imagine if instead we invested in our people and communities.

He contrasts the GOP’s misplaced priorities with what real investments that would create real actually look like. And though he’s touching on federal issues, the points he makes about investments mirror the same debates we’re having here in New Mexico.

Sen. Heinrich makes the point that the money Trump and the GOP are giving away to well-connected special interests under their tax plan should instead be invested in developing new opportunities for families and communities. Specifically, programs such as: funding for early childhood learning programs, increased broadband infrastructure, fighting the opioid epidemic, and giving families access to paid family leave.

Again, Sen. Heinrich:

Imagine how different our world would look if everyone had a real shot at a college education, if every 3- and 4-year-old had access to quality preschool and if we had a strong paid family leave policy. What if we finally connected rural America and invested in our failing infrastructure, took on the opioid crisis with real money and invested in a stronger economy. We could make each of these solutions a reality if we took each dollar of deficits the Republicans want to enact and instead invested in our communities.

Sound familiar?

New Mexicans want real, effective investments in our future too, yet we often find ourselves fighting back against the same conservative trickle-down ideology here as our Senators are doing in Washington.

Investing in early childhood education that’s known to increase educational outcomes, economic opportunity, and overall quality of life? Republicans and conservative Democrats in the New Mexico legislature have teamed up year after year to block even the most modest increases in early childhood education — even though vast majorities of New Mexicans want it.

Providing families with earned paid family leave? Gov. Martinez vetoed a bill just last year that would have given teachers the ability to earn more sick days. And a coordinated attack on paid sick leave in ABQ by conservative special interests earlier this year saw the ballot measure fail in NM’s largest city.

Investing in the state’s broadband infrastructure? After Gov. Martinez improperly vetoed a bill that would allow local governments more freedom to expand broadband access, Democrats had to take her to court. They won and it’s now law.

And the Governor’s preferred GOP tax overhaul plan here in New Mexico would move us even farther away from where we want to be by re-instating a food tax that would hurt low-income families most and would begin taxing charities and non-profits to make up for the lost revenue of her failed policies.

The GOP tax bill making its way through Congress is bad enough. But we’ve been fighting back against the same conservative ideology in New Mexico for years now — an ideology that loves nothing more than doling out tax breaks to wealthy special interests, starving government of the resources it needs to provide opportunity to its citizens, and standing in the way of real investments in our future.

Read Sen. Heinrich’s full op-ed in the USA Today here.

Make calls to some of the Senators who will decide the fate of the GOP tax plan by using the resources at trumptaxtoolkit.org

Use Voices for Children’s “Citizen’s Guide to NM’s Tax System” to learn more about NM’s tax system and the legislative debates you’ll be hearing about when the Legislature convenes in January next year.