U.S. Rep. Frankel: GOP tax, health plans spell pain for middle class

Updated Nov 17, 2017
Protesters join U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel on the West Palm Beach waterfront Friday morning in opposing the GOP tax plan. (Tony Doris / The Palm Beach Post)

With the Trump Plaza condo towers as a backdrop, not to mention a handful of Trump supporters with a megaphone, U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel and a couple dozen supporters took to the West Palm Beach waterfront Friday to protest what she called a “Robin Hood in reverse” GOP tax proposal.

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The former West Palm Beach mayor, on recess until after Thanksgiving, said the tax change passed in the U.S. House Thursday “robs the middle class to give huge tax cuts to the very, very wealthy.”

It would raise taxes for many who aren’t rich and would hurt seniors by cutting into Medicare, she said.

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Others spoke of its potential to make life worse for young families and other members of the middle class by eliminating deductions for home mortgages, day care and student loans.

“It robs from the poor to give to the rich,” Meagan Bell said.

READ: Why is it still called Trump Plaza — when he has nothing to do with it?

Another speaker, a student from Florida Atlantic University, said eliminating the deduction for college loan interest would make it much harder for student borrowers at the start of their careers.

“Everyone’s got a story” of how the proposed tax changes and efforts to roll back the Affordable Care Act will hurt them, Frankel said. She urged citizens to take to social media to spread the word and drum up opposition to the changes as the GOP attempts to enact the legislation before the end of the year.

By investing instead in education, bio-medical research and other ways to lift up those who need help the most, Frankel said, “Democrats have a better way.”

The plan now heads to the Senate, where GOP leaders face a taller task amid continuing criticism from leaders. It faces a tougher task.

House Republicans passed their measure by a 227-205 vote, although 13 Republicans voted no. Those no votes came mostly from lawmakers in California and the northeast U.S., who would be affected by the House plan’s limits on mortgage interest deductions.

The next big questions — can it pass the Senate and can they finish it before Christmas?