Op-ed: Proposed tax reform is bad for Black Americans

Op-ed: Proposed tax reform is bad for Black Americans

Think about the worst racial policies of America: chattel slavery, Jim Crow segregation, share-cropping, mass incarceration and ethnic cleansing. Add to the list education, housing and economic discrimination, wealth gaps and health gaps. Now think of a way to reinstitute the best elements of all these putrid ideas and you have the 2017-18 proposed Tax Reform Plan.

The proposed plan is actually a refighting of the U.S. Civil War. The major issues of that war were southern states continuing to hold black people as slaves and the question of slavery spreading to new territories.

Today, we have the Civil War 2.0. Many of the same southern states that lost the first Civil War have initiated a Tax Reform Plan that will effectively disenfranchise most black people in America in the long term. The negative impact of this proposed Tax Reform Plan, as it is being proffered by the Republican-controlled House, Senate and White House, will be that of 100 Hurricane Katrina’s on black communities across America.

The proposed Tax Reform Plan will greatly reduce Medicaid by $5.3 trillion over ten years and trigger $400 billion in Medicare cuts over ten years, including $25 billion in the first year. It will also greatly reduce the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program by 30 percent.

For students, it will eliminate the ability to write off student loan interest, dramatically reduce college Pell Grants, reduce the number of Head Start slots by 200,000 and cut K-12 education funding by 30 percent.

This plan will create an additional $1.5 trillion deficit that would force the gutting of social service programs for decades to come. Individual Americans will be affected. It will eliminate rental assistance to nearly 1 million households and cut job training by 40 percent

Under this plan, the wealth disparity between white and nonwhite Americans will be exacerbated. The median black household wealth will be on a path to hit zero by 2053.

This proposed tax plan is as close to the return of slavery that black people have been faced with since the first Civil War. Many government operatives, foundations, universities and corporate-sector leaders have aligned and seemingly conspired to destroy the progress made by black people over the past 152 years under the guise of tax reform.

The proposed Tax Reform Plan will destroy Black America. At best, this plan is the reincarnation of trickle-down economics, which never worked. At worst, it is a kind of neo-slavery and works as an ethnic cleansing of black people in America. Either way, it is something that black people in America cannot afford.

What must you do? Call and write to your congressional representatives and tell them that you are against the currently proposed Tax Reform Plan. Share this information with everyone you know. Ask them to share this information Send contributions and investments to organizations working to fight this proposed Tax Reform Plan. Vote your interest in every election and encourage everyone you know to do the same.

Phillip Jackson is the founder and Chairman of the Board of The Black Star Project.