As a firefighter in North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District, I am committed to protecting the life, infrastructure, and environment of western North Carolina. Every day, my crew and I put our lives on the line to accomplish this mission – bringing much pride to the work we do to serve our communities.
We work hard – day and night – to keep western North Carolina safe and provide for our families. Our work is undoubtedly rewarding. But when I heard the news that rep. Madison Cawthorn’s Republican Party backs Florida Senator and Chairman of the National Republican Senate Committee, Rick Scott’s plan to raise taxes on half of Americans, including firefighters like myself as well as many child care workers and teachers, was no option but to express my concern.
With their 2017 tax law, Republican Republicans, led by Senator Rick Scott, provided nearly $ 2 trillion in tax breaks to the richest Americans and largest corporations. Now the rep. Cawthorn and his Republican counterparts $ 100 billion a year in tax increases for middle-class families. To break this down, about 75 million American families – 96% of whom earn less than $ 100,000 – would, on average, see tax increases of $ 1,480 more each year.
In Tar Heel State, this would mean that taxes would rise for nearly 40% of the North Carolines. As the North Carolines are already feeling the pressure of rising costs from Putin’s election war, higher taxes are the last thing we need. Some Republicans in the Senate even call inflation a “gold mine.”
This is not all the Republican Party is doing to work toward lowering the cost of the North Carolines. In the past few weeks, Republicans in Congress – including Congresswoman Madison Cawthorn – have voted against bills to make insulin more affordable, on which as many as one million North Carolingians depend and help as many as over 4,000 restaurants and businesses in North Carolina, who did it. ‘t receive the first round of Restaurant Revitalization Fund assistance to cover costs.
Even more, Republicans are pushing an agenda that would jeopardize social security and Medicare benefits. If rep. Cawthorn and Republicans get their way, these historic – and historically popular – programs will stall after 5 years, leaving many seniors in western North Carolina without the benefits they depend on. In North Carolina, over 64 million people are dependent on Social Security – including over 222,000 in North Carolina’s Eleventh Congressional District – and over two million people have Medicare nationwide.
This is not accidental. Under Scott’s plan, all federal legislation – including Social Security and Medicare – would expire after 5 years. Republicans have for years threatened to make cuts in Medicare and Social Security, and now the leader of the GOP Senate campaign arm is pushing a plan that would lower the programs completely.
Meanwhile, President Biden and the Democrats are working to reduce deficits while strengthening social security and not touching Medicare by getting the richest Americans to pay their fair share of taxes – while lowering the cost to working families. President Biden has proposed a billion-dollar minimum income tax on the richest Americans, which will reduce the deficit by more than $ 360 billion over the next decade, while not raising the tax on anyone earning less than $ 400,000 a year.
At the same time, President Biden Democrats are equally focused on taking steps to lower costs for Americans: taking leading-edge action to help lower gas prices, produce more in America, break supply chain bottlenecks, raise prices, promote competition, and more reduce healthcare costs by protecting and building on the Affordable Care Act.
While the Republican Party is already defending its agenda of tax increases and raised premiums, Congressman Cawthorn and the rest of the North Carolina GOP should explain their record by voting against measures to lower costs for Americans. Have rep. Cawthorn done something to lower the costs of the hard-working people of western North Carolina and protect social security and health care? Or is he just a rubber stamp on the GOP’s tax increase agenda?
Western North Carolinans deserve answers. Unless proven otherwise, so much is clear: Republicans like Rep. Cawthorn is running on an agenda of tax increases, jeopardizing millions of Americans’ Medicare and Social Security benefits, while President Biden and the Democrats have a responsible plan to cut deficits and push. every day to lower costs.
Matt Ballance serves as chairman of the 11th District of the North Carolina Democratic Party and is a firefighter.