Wisconsin Gazette: Senate’s Tax Bill Shows Disregard for Health, Financial Wellbeing of Average Taxpayer

By Wisconsin Gazette

As analysis of the Senate GOP tax bill rolls in and Congress prepares to negotiate in conference committee, the Patriotic Millionaires commented on what the group described as the most insulting parts of the bill — and the process.

The group said the bill’s disregard for the health and financial well-being of the average American will lead to millions of middle-class American families paying higher taxes and millions more losing their health insurance.

Also, the bill contains provisions “so egregious they seem almost designed to rub dirt into the wounds of people hurt by this bill. Below are some of the worst examples.”

Here are the Patriotic Millionaires’ statements on the legislation:

Arctic Drilling

Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s vote was bought and paid for by adding the controversial expansion of arctic drilling. She took a stand against ACA repeal, but this bill will cause nearly as many Americans to lose health insurance. Apparently endangering the health of millions of Americans is only acceptable when it is paired with endangering Alaskan wildlife and ecosystems as well.

CHIP Funding

Last week, Sen. Orrin Hatch, when asked about Congress’ failure to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program, said, “We don’t have money anymore,” and “I have a rough time wanting to spend billions and trillions of dollars to help people who won’t help themselves.”

The Patriotic Millionaires said: “Sen. Hatch’s comments are frankly disgusting. To say that there isn’t enough money for children’s health care while passing a $1.4 trillion tax cut for millionaires and corporations is the height of hypocrisy. The Senate’s inaction on CHIP is inexcusable in and of itself, but to cast sick children as ‘people who won’t help themselves’ is an outrage, and one the American people will not accept.”

Private school tax deduction

In the Senate bill, tax-exempt college savings plans will now be expanded to parents saving for K-12 private school tuition.

PM said: “It is absurd that we are now providing tax incentives for people to send their children to private schools while at the same time eliminating the ability of people to deduct their state and local taxes that go directly to supporting public schools. This tax bill will hurt millions of families and children who rely on public schools, but will be great for wealthy senators and their millionaire donors who send their children to expensive private schools.”

Booze, Women, and Movies

Defending the bill’s repeal of the estate tax, Sen. Chuck Grassley said, “I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing, as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.”

Patriotic Millionaires said: “Let’s set aside the fact that at the current estate tax exemption level you would have needed to spend $5.5 million on women, booze, and movies before raising the exemption limit would have affected you. The idea that everyone isn’t rich just because they waste their money on booze and women is absurd and insulting. This isn’t just a gaffe, this is him saying what he believes, and giving us a window into the utter contempt the GOP holds for middle-class Americans who don’t qualify for the estate tax.”

Read the full article on Wisconsin Gazette