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"Who cares?" GOP congressman says it doesn't matter that voters hate their tax plan

Rolling out their new tax scheme in Congress on Thursday, you could almost hear the scraping noise dragging behind hopeful Republicans. It was the sound of the universally unpopular proposal at the heart of the pending bill: a massive tax give-away for big business and the ultra-rich. Not only are Republicans trying to lighten the […]

By Eric Boehlert - November 03, 2017
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Chris Collins
New York Republican Chris Collins literally doesn't care what his voters want

Rolling out their new tax scheme in Congress on Thursday, you could almost hear the scraping noise dragging behind hopeful Republicans. It was the sound of the universally unpopular proposal at the heart of the pending bill: a massive tax give-away for big business and the ultra-rich.

Not only are Republicans trying to lighten the tax burden for very wealthy individuals with the proposed bill that the GOP is trying to ram through Congress without any public hearings, but they also want to make sure big business gets to keep much more of its profits.

Summing up the bill’s winners and losers, the New York Times listed as the winners, “Business,” “Multinational Corporations,” “The Rich And Their Families,” “Hedge Funds.”

So no, no matter how many times Speaker of the House Paul Ryan fabricates how this scheme would supposedly benefit middle-class families, this isn’t a plan to help them. It’s a give-away to the wealthy, period.

Specifically, the GOP is proposing a corporate tax rate cut from 35 percent to 20 percent. It’s a radical move that would cost the federal government nearly $2 trillion in lost revenue over the next decade, if the bill passed into law.

One stubborn problem remains for Republicans: Voters see through the idea. A clear majority already thinks corporations pay “too little” in taxes, and just 39 percent think a corporate tax cut should even be part of the GOP’s plan.

Overall, just one-quarter of Americans think passing a tax overhaul bill should be “the top priority for the president and Congress,” according to a new CBS poll.

With that in mind, Vox reporter Tara Golshan went up to Capitol Hill and pressed Republicans about the fact that their cornerstone initiative, the corporate tax give-away, was widely unpopular.

“Who cares?” responded New York Rep. Chris Collins.

“I don’t believe that poll,” stressed Texas Rep. Mike Conaway.

“I would love to see those polls, because those aren’t polls of my constituents,” added Missouri Rep. Jason Smith.

Golshan couldn’t find a single Republican member of Congress who would acknowledge how unpopular the idea is with voters of passing a tax bill to let corporations pay even less of their fair share.

The big business sweetheart deal is being marketed as a “growth” initiative. The feel-good, elixir idea is that if big business were allowed to pay less taxes, companies would use that money to pay workers higher wages and create millions of new jobs. Or it would inspire people to start new companies or invest in new ventures.

Republicans imagine a tax give-away to corporate America would unleash all kinds of good things. “We are going to reduce taxes for our companies. And those companies are going to produce jobs,” says Trump.

But of course, the idea that business owners today are deliberately not expanding, that entrepreneurs aren’t starting up new companies, or that investors aren’t making deals because of the current corporate tax rate makes no sense.

Republicans have already gone to ridiculous lengths to try to sell the idea that major corporations getting to keep way more of their profits means good news for everyday Americans.

Last week, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders went on Twitter and claimed that under the GOP tax plan, the “average family” would pocket more than $4,000.

But the claim was almost laughably hollow because the per-family calculation is based on the idea that the corporate tax reduction will trickle down to workers via wage increases.

There’s no evidence that will happen, which is why most Americans don’t support the plan. Oblivious Republicans can’t seem to care.


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