Tennessee group protests new tax legislation in town square


Tennessee group protests new tax legislation in town square

By BROOKE WANSER

Traffic flowed slowly through downtown Franklin Thursday afternoon as a group of protestors gathered on the town square to object to Congressman Marsha Blackburn’s support of President Donald Trump’s new tax plan.

Though Trump said the legislation will give tax cuts to the middle-class, grow the economy and simplify the tax code without adding to the national debt, those gathered at town square disagreed.

Armed with signs, more than a dozen people gathered beginning at 12:30 p.m.

“Hey hey, ho ho, this tax plan scam has got to go,” they chanted. Drivers passing through the busy corridor honked in support, while some simply looked away, ignoring them.

Williamson County Democratic Party Chairman Holly McCall and Justin Kanew, who is running for Blackburn’s congressional seat in the 7th district, also attended the event.

Indivisible TN 7, a local branch of a national group that formed after Trump’s election to “promote a progressive and inclusive agenda,” according to its website, organized the rally.

Rebecca Purington, the organization’s media coordinator, said the group was there to “hold our legislators accountable,” particularly Blackburn, who has publicly supported the tax plan.

“What has been characterized as a tax cut for middle and lower income people is actually just a huge tax cut for the very wealthy,” Purington said.

A recently retired business owner, Purington said she believed the cuts would not help small business owners at all.

“The tax cuts probably won’t apply to them.”

Analysis of the proposed tax plan from the House Ways and Means Committee have shown that while tax cuts will impact a large swath of middle-income earners, the benefits will decrease and fade over the next decade more so than for high-income earners.

Barbara Walker, an Independent and Franklin resident of 12 years, said she was upset the tax reform bill was going to be “corporate welfare.”

Walker, 55, said as an adoptive parent of two children, she was upset about the bill’s provision that would disallow her to write off the expenses of adoption.

“We fought hard to get those when I was adopting my kids,” she said.

“The whole thing looks pretty swampish,” she said. “We don’t need to cut the weakest,” she finished, referring to the plan’s proposal to cut deductions for medical expenses.

Beverly Headley, a nurse who has lived in Franklin since 1973, said she only became politically involved in the past few months after becoming concerned that the Tennessee she grew up in was changing for the worse.

“This is a rare sight to see in Franklin,” said Headley, 70, of the protest.

Headley, who was joined by her younger sister, said, “We’re not people who get out and do this,” she said while holding a sign. “But you have to do something.”

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