Doug LaMalfa: Republican House Member Voting to Make His District and Constituents Poorer
Jeff Denham: Republican House Member Voting to Make His District and Constituents Poorer

Paul Cook: Republican House Member Voting to Make His District and Constituents Poorer

Cook Southeast California


District 8: Yucca Valley: Southeast California, 
High Desert, San Bernardino County

R+09: Safeness of Seat   
29%:  Percent of Returns   
4.6%: Percent of AGI   
540 million dollars

251,000 tax returns in 2014
$11.736 billion AGI in 2014
$0.5350 billion deduction amount in 2014

53.8%: Income <$50K/year
21.8%: Poverty Rate
27.5%: White Collar
2.1% : Income >$200K/year

29% of tax returns in Paul Cook's 8th California Congressional District in 2014 would have been penalized had state and local tax payments been added into the federal income tax base. The total increase in the tax base in 2014 would have been 540 million dollars. We do not have sufficient detail to produce a precise estimate of how much taxes would have gone up—the Trump administration could, if it wanted to—but the rough ballpark number is 110 million: the Republican tax bill will, if enacted, take 110 million dollars a year out of the incomes and spending of Paul Cook's constituents.

The relatively poor (for California) 8th contains only a small slice of people who are possible beneficiaries from the tax bill: 2.1% of returns in 2014 reported adjusted gross incomes greater than 200,000 dollars a year. But by the same token that was one-thirteenth of the number of returns that itemized SALT.

The 75 year old Paul Cook may, according to the Almanac of American Politics at least, be the last Main Street Republican. His 8th district is a safe Republican district. He has focused on his constituents—especially his military and ex-military constituents—while in Congress. A U.S. Marine and a former Commandant at Camp Pendleton, he fell in love with California and when he retired from the military he stayed here rather than moving back to his native Connecticut, or moving elsewhere in the country. His district is safe enough that he is not politically worried about doing favors for leadership. But his constituents have a substantial stake in not having their state and local tax payments added into their federal income tax base. Yet he does not appear to be listening.

(Assuming, of course, there has not been a programming mistake in moving from zipcode-level IRS Statistics of Income to Congressional District level. Programming mistakes are easy to make.)

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