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CESR submission to UN Special Rapporteur warns of proposed U.S. tax plan's ill effects on human rights

A CESR submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights asserts that regressive tax and fiscal policies, such as the current tax plan under review by the U.S. Senate, deepen economic, social and gender inequalities while further impoverishing people within and beyon the United States.

The submission, "Fiscal Impoverishment in the United States," was made to Special Rapporteur Philip Alston in preparation for his official visit to the United States on December 4-15, 2017 and provides input for his investigation of the links between poverty and the realization of human rights.

According to the paper, the current Republican-backed tax bill would cut the corporate income tax rate to 20%, resulting in an estimated $2.4 trillion loss in federal income in the next ten years. Approximately two-thirds of U.S. companies already pay no federal income tax, while low-income workers pay proportionally more taxes, according to the paper. 

"A $ 2.4 trillion budget hole will need to be made up somewhere, and there are strong indications that this will occur through backdoor cuts to social welfare," claims the submission

The bill's intent to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate provision to finance the proposed cuts is one of the most glaring aspects evidence of the bill's direct effects on social rights, such as healthcare.

Disinvestment in public services, which the reforms will entail, also increases women’s unequal burden of unpaid care work and restricts their rights to work, according to the submission.

CESR also highlights the international implications of the tax plans, warning that the proposed US corporate tax reforms will drive deeper tax competition between countries, with particularly harmful impacts on the poorest people in low-income countries.