On Nov. 16, 3rd District Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler voted with her party to pass the Republican tax bill which, if enacted, would add $1.4 trillion to the national debt over 10 years and provide $1.5 trillion in tax cuts, primarily to corporations and the very wealthy. By 2023, paying for these tax breaks will have become the responsibility of the middle and lower classes, and by then we will have seen the end of many of the tax deductions we now count on.
One such deduction to be eliminated seems particularly mean-spirited: the deduction given to teachers who provide teaching materials, out-of-pocket, to their students. In 2016, teachers spent an average of $600 for classroom supplies not furnished by the school. To provide at least some relief, they are given a $250 tax deduction and absorb the remaining $350. Now, the Republicans want to eliminate this tax break for our teachers to offset breaks given to corporations and the wealthy.
It’s time we had congressional representation that addresses the needs of those besides the top 1 percent. Herrera Beutler’s term is up in 2019; let’s elect someone who supports our teachers and their students.