The C-Span2 video below is being widely distributed on social media on November 8, the day after Election Day. It features Democratic Congresswoman Suzan DelBene of Washington questioning Thomas Barthold, Chief of Staff of the Joint Committee of Taxation. Rep. DelBene asks Barthold if the GOP Tax Plan (H.R. 1) will allow working class people like teachers to deduct costs (materials she buys for her students) from her tax return under the plan. Barthold says no, “H.R. 1 would repeal the above the line deduction for teacher expenses.”
DelBene, who was a senior vice president at Microsoft before her political career, then asks if a corporation that buys pens, pencils, and papers for its workers be able to deduct such costs, Barthold says yes. DelBene continues this line of questioning to make her point that the tax plan treats corporations better than people. Adding to the confusion is the difference between people and corporations in the first place. Because ‘Citizens United’ said corporations are people. “Are corporations people? The U.S. Supreme Court says they are, at least for some purposes,” begins one NPR article explaining ‘Citizens United.’ Both people and corporations can attempt to influence politicians with large sums of money, but only corporations can do it with the money they save not paying taxes.