The 5 Biggest Hypocrisies of the GOP Tax Plan

Like most Americans, I was asleep when theGOP tax bill finally passed the Senate with the necessary 51 votes in favor — including one by Vice President Mike Pence. The finaleffort was fraught with last minute maneuvering, handwritten amendments and pot sweeteners — all toachievea simple one-vote majority and pass the bill.

By the early hours of the morning, the tax bill — championed by the GOP as relief for the middle class — was anything but. Here are the biggest hypocrisies of the Senate tax bill, whichwill now head to conference with the House version passed last month.

1. Senator John McCain approved ending the individual mandate.

McCain was considered a “maverick” earlier this year forcasting the final vote to torpedo the Obamacare repeal — twice. Each timehe expressed concern that there was no replacement option to keep those who need affordable insurance covered. But nowMcCainhas cast his vote in favor of a tax bill thatintends to destroy the Affordable Care Act — an action far too unpopular for Republicans topass as a stand-alone policy.

The new tax bill ends the individual mandate, the mechanism that keeps insurance pools filled with healthy people to maintain lower costsfor those who needadditional coverage for illness, childbirth or accidents. Without the mandate, costs for individual plans are expected to skyrocket, making insurance once again inaccessiblefor those who need it most. Thanks, Maverick!

2. Senator Jeff Flake cast aside his “anti-debt” stance.

One of the final holdouts on the bill was Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, who worried that the massive tax cuts for the wealthy would add to the national debt, burdening the country for decades to come. Flake was one of the handful of GOP senators demanding a trigger that would cut off portions of the bill if it increased the deficit too much. But when the parliamentary procedures confirmed that a trigger couldn’t be added to the final bill, Flake threw aside all of his claims of being a fiscal hawk and voted yes anyway.

AsVox explains,Flake got a concession on an agreement to phase out business expensing over the years, and a vague promise that he could “come to the table” and negotiate a plan potentiallygranting DREAMers a legal path to citizenship. Considering that Flake will be out of Congress after the election next year, who knows if he will even be thereto participate in an immigration discussion — if it ever even happens.

3. It isn’t really helping the middle class at all.

Don’t trust me? Trust the conservatives who also admit that this is nothing but a payoff for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.

“Again: I would have no problem if the super-rich were to receive a bigger break than the less well-off. They should get a bigger break, since they pay more. But to actually raise taxes on many in the middle class, while cutting taxes of the super-rich, is just plain wrong,” writes one columnist at Red State, a conservative blog. “People in the middle class are struggling with a lot of problems these days, including out-of-control college tuition and skyrocketing health insurance premiums. It’s infuriatingly bad policy to add to their burdens. As [Conservative Marc] Thiessen says: ‘When Republicans reform the tax code, there should be no losers, especially not the middle class.’ Amen to that!”

4. It attacks higher ed –with the exception ofadministration officials.

One of the biggest problems with the tax bill is its attack on education — making tuition aid taxable income, removing the student loan interest deduction and levying new taxes on colleges’ private endowments, giving them less money to offer in student aid. But Education Secretary Betsy DeVos nearlyescaped that final issue, with a handwritten amendment inserted at the last moment that would have made her own college exempt from the rule.

“The provision appeared designed to shield one school, Hillsdale College, a private campus aligned with the wealthy family of Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos who are longtime GOP donors,” the LA Times reported, adding, “The proposal from Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) sought to exempt schools from the GOP’s proposed 1.4% excise tax on endowment investment income if they met certain criteria regarding enrollment and the size of their endowment. Democrats said only Hillsdale qualified under the provision.”

Democrats killed the amendment.

5. The GOP elitestill look down on the rest of America

Allegedly, the Republican Party claims to be the party of “the people,” while describing Democratsasagroup of coastal elites. Yet Republican Senator Chuck Grassley explains exactly how the GOP really feels about most Americans:

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.

Grassley claims that the estate tax must be ended because passing wealth from one generation to the next, untouched, is a noble use of the tax code, and anyone who doesn’t have enough assets to protect has only themselves to blame.

Yes, it’s the 99 percentwho waste their money — right?

Photo credit: Thinkstock

112 comments

Peggy B
Peggy B21 hours ago

Noted

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Larry McDaniel
Larry McDaniel22 hours ago

Thank you

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Sue L
Sue Lyesterday

This is designed only to help the wealthy at the expense of the middle and working class. Shame on the Republicans!

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Marianne R
Marianne R1 days ago

Thanks for posting

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Carol S
Carol S2 days ago

This tax bill is rife with errors and loopholes. It disadvantages everyone except the rich and corporations. Seniors get hosed pretty badly :(

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Robert Fitzgerald

The conservative brain is run from the amygdala, the emotion/FEAR center. When in fear, lie your ass off and do everything you can, morally right OR wrong, it don't matter, to scapegoat and blame others, especially liberals, women, blacks, immigrants, etc for our problems. Do whatever you can to find safety somewhere, in old ideologies, or in rational sounding theories that don't work. 2018 is right on us. The liberal brain is a decidedly PROBLEM SOLVING brain. This means that liberals KNOW something that conservatives are scared to death of looking at. The ONLY way forward seems to be voting democrat in 2018. Solving problems? or cowering in fear?

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Mark T
Mark T2 days ago

Ty.

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Elaine W
Elaine W3 days ago

This Tax scam is disgusting.

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Brian F
Brian F3 days ago

Marco Rubio is a big liar, telling everyone his eighty year old grandmother is on social security, and to not worry about cuts. After 1.5 trillion gets added to the debt, Republicans will cut social security and Medicare, and everyone knows it. These Republicans are dirty crooks and liars, and this phony tax plan is a sham to transfer billions to the wealthy, and cause massive poverty for the poor and middle class.

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Belinda Lang
Belinda Lang3 days ago

Well, I am not like most Americans. I received plenty of emails from various activist groups giving me the lowdown on this scam tax reform bill. I wrote my GOP senators telling them the bill hurts the middle class and the middle class needs the money--not the rich. They voted to serve their rich masters. The irony of it is most of the people in my red state vote against their best interests.

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