What the tax cuts GOP gave to billionaires could have paid for in California

There are an awful lot of things that $12 billion per year would get the people of California.

Republicans in Congress — including many of the 11 GOP representatives from California, like Steve Knight of Palmdale — sold out their constituents in December by ramming through tax cuts for corporations and billionaires.

By now, it is evident that Republicans’ repeated promise that the tax bill would pay for itself is a lie. The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that, even using Republicans’ preferred “dynamic scoring” model, their tax proposal will add about $1 trillion to the federal deficit over the next 10 years, or on average $100 billion per year.

With 39 million people, California is home to about 12 percent of the U.S. population. So assuming federal funds were distributed equitably, Republicans are foregoing about $12 billion a year in revenues that could go to the Golden State.

There are an awful lot of things that $12 billion per year would get the people of California.

If you look at the state budget, $12 billion a year would be enough to increase funding for Medi-Cal, which gives vulnerable families access to health care, nursing home care, and occupational therapy for disabled schoolchildren, by more than 20 percent.

$12 billion a year would also be enough to more than double the total amount of federal money that goes to support California’s higher education institutions, infrastructure, enforcement of environmental laws, and the state court system.

It would also be enough to more than double federal funding for the California Department of Social Services, which in 2016 received $7.7 billion from Congress to fund everything from child welfare to foster care.

Putting that funding into many purely federal programs, like veteran care, would also be beneficial. California is home to 9 percent of the nation’s veterans, and 24 percent of homeless veterans. This money could go to shelter, health care, job training, or any number of services to help California vets.

Even just focusing on specific parts of the tax bill is revealing. For example, according to the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy, the annual revenue lost from just the corporate tax cuts in California is over $9.5 billion per year by 2027. That’s as much as the annual interest payments on debt by every single city in California combined.

These cuts reveal the backward priorities of Republicans in Washington. They could be working to fund health care, social services for kids, education, economic development, or any number of other things working families need. Instead, they are giving massive handouts to corporations and millionaires — and they are sticking you with the bill.