Does it "put middle class families and American workers first?"
Or is it "a multi-trillion dollar giveaway to billionaires and big corporations?"
It depends on who you listen to. Because both of the descriptions above were used by Minnesotans in Congress to refer to the same thing: the framework for an overhaul of the tax code that Republicans released Wednesday. (Read their nine-page document here.)
For the record, the first quote came from U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer, a Republican, and the second from Congresswoman Betty McCollum, a Democrat.
GoMN looked over the statements put out by Minnesotans on Capitol Hill in reaction to the plan. Here's a digest:
Rep. Erik Paulsen (R)
Paulsen says the changes will lead to more jobs and bigger paychecks.
The plan cuts the corporate tax rate to 20 percent (from the current 35 percent). It also sets a maximum rate of 25 percent for smaller businesses. Paulsen says that "unleashes job creation for American businesses of all sizes."
He also hails the part of the plan that doubles the size of the standard deduction. That's the amount you can earn before any income taxes kick in. The new framework raises that to $12,000 for individuals, $24,000 for married couples.
Rep. Tom Emmer (R)
Another part of the plan reduces the number of tax brackets from seven down to three – 12 percent, 25 percent, and 35 percent.
Emmer calls the framework "an incredible first step towards our goal of modernizing and simplifying our archaic and overly burdensome tax code."
Rep. Jason Lewis (R)
The state's newest Congressman says we're the only industrialized country in the world where profits earned overseas get taxed twice and Lewis applauds the move to change that.
Under the new plan, profits that businesses make in other countries will no longer be taxed again when the money is brought back to the U.S.
Lewis also likes that the plan looks to close tax loopholes. In his statement he even quotes former President John F. Kennedy, a Democrat, who argued that ending "special provisions" could let the country lower tax rates and still end up with more tax revenue.
Sen. Al Franken (D)
Franken says most of the benefits in the tax plan will help the wealthiest Americans and the biggest corporations.
The tax cuts will reduce federal revenue – by an estimated $2 trillion over ten years, Franken says – and that will be added to the nation's deficit.
Rep. Betty McCollum (D)
The plan would also get rid of the estate tax, a change McCollum says is an example of something that would benefit billionaires like President Trump.
She says big tax cuts during the George W. Bush administration wound up turning a budget surplus into a deficit and failed to deliver the promised jobs.