Republicans have been busy in recent months cooking up plans for exactly what they want to accomplish if they retake Congress in the upcoming elections. It should come as no surprise that those plans are exactly what we’ve come to expect from the GOP for decades – tax breaks for the rich elite, crumbs for regular Americans, and the slashing of benefits and social services for those same Americans to make up for it.
Republicans may be trying to sell a platform of culture-war grievance to turn out their base, but just as in the Trump years, the real policy focus of the party has always been on regressive economic policy focused primarily on making the rich richer. They have mastered the PR stunt of running on culture-war fodder while governing on behalf of their billionaire donors. For the voters that do look at their economic platform, they sell their policies of deregulation and tax cuts as “fiscally conservative” and “pro-business.” Despite this marketing success, all their policies have done is consolidate wealth at the top, make it easier than ever for rich people to evade the taxes they DO owe, and strip away any benefits the government should provide to the American people and infrastructure.
We know what Republicans say they want to do. They want to be “the party of the American worker.” They want to create jobs and grow the middle class. They want to stop inflation. But what do they actually plan to do?
If we look at the policy proposals they’re putting forward, we know that they have no plans to stop beating the dead horse that is trickle-down economics until it stops spitting out money for their donors.
This week we’ll go over exactly what Republicans have been promoting as their “fiscally responsible” economic agenda, how it will affect ordinary Americans, and who it actually benefits.
Buchanan Unveils Plan to Preserve Trump Tax Cuts by Jacob Ogles
If Republicans win the House majority this November, Rep. Vern Buchanan will likely become the most powerful member of the House Ways and Means Committee, the committee that creates most tax legislation. What will he do with that authority? Earlier this month, Buchanan introduced legislation to make the 2017 Trump Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which is set to expire in 2025, permanent, and he promised to make preserving those tax cuts his #1 priority. These cuts were the most significant change to the tax code in decades and drastically cut the tax rate for millionaires, billionaires, and multi-billion dollar corporations.
While Buchanan is quoted saying that the TCJA put money in the pockets of regular Americans, it actually gave nearly $2 trillion in tax cuts to the richest Americans. The idea that extending this legislation would do regular Americans good is a farce; any benefit to everyday Americans is grossly overshadowed by the massive handouts provided to the top 1%. It’s no surprise that Buchanan, the 6th wealthiest member of Congress with a $157 million fortune, would love the Trump tax cuts. He even treated himself to a new yacht the day the TCJA passed the House.
New Tax Plan From Leading GOP Senator Would Require All Americans To Pay Federal Income Taxes by Jeff Stein
If we’ve learned anything about the Republican party over the years, it’s this: they are consistent in their disdain for the American worker in favor of big-money interests. Back in February, Florida Senator Rick Scott released his “11 point plan to rescue America,” a manifesto which included a spread of socially regressive policy goals, most notably a proposal to raise taxes on the poorest Americans. He criticized the nearly 50% of Americans who do not pay income tax, saying they did not have any “skin in the game.”
It’s hard to overstate just how appalling Scott’s plan truly is. The Center for American Progress estimates that his plan would raise taxes on 98% of poor Americans, force poor Americans to pay over $1,600 in new taxes each year per family member, double child poverty, and push 18.5 million Americans into poverty. With this GOP taxation plan, Scott said the quiet part out loud: Republicans don’t care about cutting taxes unless it benefits their wealthy supporters. They’re fine with poor people paying higher taxes even though they have less ability to pay, because poor people aren’t giving Senate Republicans big checks for re-election.
Kevin McCarthy, other top Republicans vow to scrap IRS hiring plans if they win House majority by Katherine Huggins
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the Speaker-in-waiting if Republicans win the House, recently announced his number one priority for a Republican Congress- reversing the funding set aside for the IRS for auditing the rich, closing the tax gap, and streamlining the tax return process. This shouldn’t be a surprise, coming from the man who tried to con the American people into believing that Democrats were siccing 87,000 armed IRS agents on innocent middle-class Americans, but it’s remarkable that the single highest priority of the #1 Republican in the House is to help ultra-rich tax criminals get away with breaking the law.
Make no mistake about it: the funding he wants to get rid of has been explicitly appropriated to the IRS to go after wealthy tax evaders that stash their millions and billions in the Bahamas and Cayman Islands, not working Americans who live paycheck to paycheck. And Kevin McCarthy knows that. He just also knows that his party’s fundraising is largely dependent on billionaire tax cheats who would like to continue getting away with breaking the law.
Why Zombie Reaganomics Still Rules the G.O.P. by Paul Krugman
Last week, House Republicans released their “Commitment to America,” a manifesto outlining the party’s policy intentions should they take control of Congress in this year’s midterm elections. While vague, their economic plans fall in lockstep behind a thoroughly debunked economic theory of supply-side economics – better known as simply “trickle-down economics.” Needless to say, the last four decades since Reagan first introduced the idea have proven that funneling billions of dollars to corporations and billionaires does not “trickle down” to create prosperity for everyone else. It’s a theory that is utterly dead – no credible economist or lawmaker believes it, yet it somehow lives on in the Republican party’s platform. Zombie movies may be scary, but zombie Reaganomics, and its devastating consequences for the country, are scarier. Let’s hope we avoid a sequel in November.