FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM MARCH 8, 2018 • THE QUEENS COURIER 11
Nancy Pelosi talks Trump tax law in Woodhaven
BY RYAN KELLEY
Th roughout most of 2017, Woodhaven
resident Allan Smith received physical
therapy for severe nerve damage in his
right arm aft er a fall in his apartment left
him lying on the fl oor, wedged between
his bed and dresser for two days.
When he reached the cap on what his
Medicare would pay for, Smith was told
to take a break from the therapy until the
new year began.
Smith, 79, is still barely able to move
his arm, and aft er one month of therapy
in 2018, his cap for the year has already
been reached. Th e new federal tax bill
led to budget cuts for Medicare, and on
March 3, Smith walked into All Saints
Episcopal Church in Woodhaven to voice
his case to House Democratic Leader
Nancy Pelosi and a group of Queens representatives
and tax experts.
“I can’t do certain things. I can’t open
my fi ngers. I can’t raise my arm above my
head, and I want to get better,” Smith told
QNS aft er the meeting. “If this is considered
severe, and it is, then there should be
some means of taking that into account.”
The panel discussion that
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez hosted
included Pelosi, Lieutenant Governor
Kathy Hochul, Congressman Joe Crowley,
Charles Khan from the Strong Economy
for All Coalition, Jonas Shaende from
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez introduces Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to the audience at All
Saints Episcopal Church in Woodhaven on March 3.
the Fiscal Policy Institute, and Tracey
Kavanagh, a registered nurse who serves
on the board of directors of the New York
State Nurses Association.
Th e tax bill signed into law on Dec. 22,
2017, leads to automatic federal funding
cuts of $400 billion over the next
decade. In the fi scal year 2018, $136 billion
of those cuts will come into play,
and $25 billion is required to come from
Medicare. Pelosi’s fundamental message
to the audience was that these cuts, which
also spread to public education, food
stamps and public housing, do not resonate
with American values.
Photo by Ryan Kelley/QNS
“We have a moral responsibility to
do the right thing by the budget for
our country, for our strength, and most
importantly for our children,” said Pelosi,
who served as the nation’s fi rst female
Speaker of the House between 2007 and
2011. “It’s all about the future. Th is is a
budget that takes us backwards. It is not a
statement of values.”
Pelosi and Crowley emphasized that if
the Democrats regain the majority in the
House of Representatives, they will repeal
and replace the tax bill.
In total, the tax law will create a defi cit
of at least $1.5 trillion that will be made
up by cutting budgets to federal programs.
According to Khan, these cuts will
be seen in the form of grandparents getting
kicked out of nursing homes, people
dying from preventable diseases, bigger
classroom sizes in schools and more people
Khan also pointed out that New Yorkers
will be particularly aff ected by a provision
in the law that limits the amount
of deductible property taxes to $10,000.
Th at means that every penny over that
$10,000 limit will essentially be taxed
twice, Khan said. According to Hochul,
there are approximately 3.3 million people
in New York who pay higher property
taxes than that.
“In eff ect, you now make it more
expensive to own a house in the state
of New York, and you have now created
incentive to drive people from our
state,” Hochul said. “With that fell swoop,
they’ve undone all of our eff orts to control
costs in the state of New York, reduce
taxes and make it a better place to live
For Smith, his only option to receive
more treatment for his arm in 2018 will
be to pay for it privately. As the sun
shined through the stained glass windows
around the church, Smith began
to talk about its long history and pointed
to where he was baptized only a few feet
away from the pew. Where his life practically
began, he was now fi ghting for his
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