The 5 Biggest Hypocrisies of the GOP Tax Plan

Like most Americans, I was asleep when the GOP tax bill finally passed the Senate with the necessary 51 votes in favor — including one by Vice President Mike Pence. The final effort was fraught with last minute maneuvering, handwritten amendments and pot sweeteners — all to achieve a 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, which will 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 for casting the final vote to torpedo the Obamacare repeal — twice. Each time he expressed concern that there was no replacement option to keep those who need affordable insurance covered. But now McCain has cast his vote in favor of a tax bill that intends to destroy the Affordable Care Act — an action far too unpopular for Republicans to pass 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 costs for those who need additional coverage for illness, childbirth or accidents. Without the mandate, costs for individual plans are expected to skyrocket, making insurance once again inaccessible for 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.

As Vox 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 potentially granting 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 there to 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 of administration 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 nearly escaped 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 elite still look down on the rest of America

Allegedly, the Republican Party claims to be the party of “the people,” while describing Democrats as a group 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 percent who waste their money — right?

Photo credit: Thinkstock

124 comments

joan silaco
joan silacoabout a month ago

When will people ever learn!

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W. C
W. C2 months ago

Not surprising, thanks.

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William C
William C2 months ago

Thank you.

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Patricia D
Patricia D2 months ago

Once again, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer!
Thanks for nothing, Republicans!

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S J
LKoSl J2 months ago

Come on! They are making America great again. It's on the way, OK? Sure there will be some 99% have to be a bit patient for the rest. Hang in there people, we will be great again! Meows meow

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Stanley S
Stanley S2 months ago

tyfs

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Kayla M
Kayla M2 months ago

Thanks!

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Julia S
Julia S2 months ago

Thank you!

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Ian C
Ian Crory2 months ago

:0)

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Mike H
Mike H2 months ago

Thank you

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