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Democrats call out GOP plan to impose new taxes on low-income families

GOP Sen. Rick Scott’s plan to ‘Rescue America’ includes new taxes for the majority of U.S. families, especially those with low incomes and retirees.

By Josh Israel - February 23, 2022
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Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL)

Democrats across the country are denouncing the GOP’s new plan to raise taxes on the majority of Americans should they win a majority in the 2022 midterm elections. But given a chance to distance themselves from National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair Rick Scott’s “Rescue America” proposal, not a single GOP senator or major Republican Senate candidate did so.

On Tuesday, Scott (R-FL) released the 11-point policy plan for a Republican congressional majority.

In the section on “economy/growth,” he called for more federal taxes for most of the country.

“All Americans should pay some income tax to have skin in the game, even if a small amount. Currently over half of Americans pay no income tax,” the plan says.

While it is true that a majority of Americans did not pay any federal income tax in 2020 — while the pandemic shuttered much of the nation’s economy — this claim is highly misleading.

Most of those people still paid Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes. Even those who did not — very low-income families and retired older Americans who no longer earn an income — likely supported the federal government through gasoline, alcohol, or tobacco taxes.

“Senator Rick Scott explains the Republican plan to raise taxes on more than half of Americans,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer tweeted on Tuesday afternoon. “He wants working families and seniors to pay more.”

The Democratic National Committee put out a statement saying that Scott’s “big Republican plan” is to “ignore higher costs and raise taxes on poor Americans.”

In an email to the American Independent Foundation, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee communications director David Bergstein also blasted the GOP’s tax hike proposal. “While Senate Democrats are fighting to lower costs and cut taxes,” he wrote, “Senate GOP candidates have found their midterm bumper sticker: raising taxes on Americans, seniors and working families.”

His organization, which works to elect Democrats to the Senate, is already buying radio and podcast ads warning voters about the GOP plan.

“This just in: Republicans have released their plan if they win the Senate,” the announcer says in the spot. “It’s to raise taxes on over 50% of Americans, including many seniors and working families. If Republicans win, we’ll pay the price.”

Democrats in states with key Senate races seized on the plan in their messaging.

“The head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee just promised to try to raise taxes on millions of working class Americans,” Pennsylvania Democratic Party spokesperson Jack Doyle said in a press statement. “Pennsylvania voters deserve to know if the Pennsylvania GOP Senate field supports this effort from a national Republican party leader.”

“While Senator [Maggie] Hassan and Democrats in Washington are fighting to lower costs for Granite Staters, Republicans are scheming to raise taxes on New Hampshire families to help their corporate special interest backers,” New Hampshire Democratic Party spokesperson Gates MacPherson wrote.

“This is an out-of-touch and costly plan that lays bare how Granite Staters would quite literally pay the price for McConnell’s pro-corporate special interest agenda that Chuck Morse, Kevin Smith, and Don Bolduc would all support in the US Senate,” she added, referencing the three major candidates running for the GOP nomination.

In Wisconsin, the Senate campaign for Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes (D) tied the tax hike idea to Republican incumbent Ron Johnson.

Maddy McDaniel, Barnes’ communications director, said the millionaire incumbent “and his corrupt colleagues would do just about anything to prevent their wealthy donors and big corporations from having to pay their fair share — that includes increasing taxes on working families. This plan is only further proof that self-serving politicians like Ron Johnson will always choose special interests over the interests of middle class Wisconsinites.”

The American Independent Foundation reached out to every Senate Republican on Tuesday and to 40 Republican 2022 Senate candidates from across the country, asking each if they supported Scott’s plan to raise taxes on more than 100 million families.

Not a single one of them responded.

The one person who did try to distance himself from Rick Scott’s tax increase plan was Rick Scott.

In an appearance Tuesday night on Fox News, host Sean Hannity noted Schumer’s comments and claimed that he could not find that section. “Did you have that in your plan?” he sarcastically asked. “Was it in invisible ink in the copy that I got?”

“Of course not,” Scott said. “No, Chuck Schumer, who wants to raise taxes for everything, while I’ve cut, I’ve cut, as governor I cut taxes and fees 100 times. We’re the opposite. But Chuck Schumer, he is all-in to take every dime you have.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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