Durbin: GOP Tax Plans Benefit the Wealthy on Backs of Middle-Income Families

CHICAGO – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today highlighted how the tax proposals introduced by Republicans in the House and Senate would eliminate numerous deductions and tax benefits used by middle-income families to reduce their tax bills. Along with eliminating the state and local tax (SALT) deduction, which is used by roughly 1/3 of Illinoisans, Republicans in Congress are also proposing to eliminate deductions for medical expenses and student loan interest – all to give massive cuts to the largest corporations and wealthiest individuals.


“This week, Republicans in Congress are prepared to barrel along in their rushed, partisan effort to pass a tax plan at any cost.  These plans would bankroll massive cuts for the top one percent on the backs of working families, students, and seniors,” Durbin said. “I hope my Republican colleagues will abandon this backwards approach and join a bipartisan effort to provide hard working families across the country the relief they desperately need.” 


The bill introduced by Senate Republicans last week would completely eliminate the SALT deduction, which 44 million Americans nationwide use to avoid being doubled taxed on their hard-earned income. Illinois has the fifth-highest number of taxpayers who benefit from this deduction, with 85 percent of them making under $200,000 per year. Nearly 2 million Illinoisans—roughly one-third of all taxpayers in the state—claim an average deduction of $12,500.


The Republican tax proposal in the House would eliminate the medical expense deduction – making it so that struggling seniors no longer will be able to deduct costly out-of-pocket medical expenses. More than 370,000 Illinoisans claim an average $10,000 deduction for medical expenses that helps offset the cost of hospital care, long-term nursing home care, prescription drug costs and more.  But under the House Republicans plan, instead of receiving a helping hand, these seniors would be taxed on the money used to pay these medical bills.


The House plan also eliminates the student loan interest deduction, which would make it even harder for students to pay off their federal loans. There are currently 1.5 million Illinoisans collectively holding more than $51 billion in federal student loan debt.