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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) spoke out against efforts to the tax retirement savings of middle-class families today, promising “one hell of a fight” during a hearing before the Senate Finance Committee.
Brown is responding to reports that Washington Republicans are looking at cuts to Social Security and Medicare as well as new taxes on retirement savings accounts that would reduce workers’ take home pay in order to pay for massive tax cuts for Wall Street.
“You’ve got to be kidding me: their two best ideas to pay for massive tax cuts for Wall Street are to cut Medicare and raise the retirement age for Social Security to 70 and then steal from the retirement accounts of working, middle class Americans?” Brown told the panel. “If the President and Congressional Republicans want to work together with us to build a tax code that puts more money in the pockets of working Americans and reward employers that keep jobs in the U.S. we are there. Democrats want to work together. But if Senator McConnell decides to follow the same template of healthcare – where a handful of white men met behind closed doors to write a bill designed by special interests lobbyists – he’s going to have one hell of a fight on his hands.”
The latest proposal, known as ‘rothification,’ would take away the freedom Americans currently have to choose the retirement savings plan that works best for them. Instead, it would force everyone into a Roth account. Unlike 401ks or IRA retirement savings plans many Ohioans currently use, savings in Roth accounts are taxed up front – reducing workers’ take home pay and making it more expensive for Ohioans to save for retirement.
Roth plans are also more expensive for employers to offer and would make it harder for Ohio small businesses to provide retirement plans for their employees.
Later today, Brown will lead a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, White House Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn and House and Senate leaders demanding tax reform not include new taxes on retirement savings of middle-class families.