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The Hair-brained GOP Scheme to Shaft U.S. Taxpayers

The MAGA Republicans who have gained power in the U.S. Congress are pushing two ideas that, if enacted, would be an economic disaster for most hard-working Americans and retirees who rely on Social Security and Medicare.

It's hard to imagine that any sane person who voted for these politicians really understood what they would do if given the chance, but then the sanity of many of those voters must questioned anyway since they are likely Donald Trump loyalists.

"You gotta be kidding me. What in God's name is this all about?" President Joe Biden said about the proposal of right-wing Republicans to defund the Internal Revenue Service and replace the income tax with a 30 percent national sales tax, which Biden said would be on "every item from groceries, gasoline, clothing, supplies, [and] medicine."

Good question. What it God's name IS that all about?

The answer is that it's about providing a way for the wealthy and big business to avoid paying their fair share of federal taxes, while shifting that burden to the average American.

That proposal comes on the heels of the hair-brained proposal by Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) to subject every federal program, including Social Security and Medicare, to legislative review every couple of years, thus putting in jeopardy those so-called "entitlements" that we have paid for throughout our working lives and upon which most retirees rely to survive.

The Tax Policy Center (TPC) estimated then that Scott’s plan could increase federal income taxes by more than $100 billion in 2022 alone. More than 80 percent would be paid by households making about $54,000 or less, and 97 percent would be paid by those making less than about $100,000.

Not surprisingly, most Republicans, including GOP leaders, have run as fast as they could away from Scott's plan, toxic as it is, so there is little real support in Congress and virtually no chance of its enactment anytime soon.

Now, the GOP tax play, called the "FairTax Act," is getting the same cold shoulder from most Republicans except for the nutcases who blocked Rep. Kevin McCarthy's speakership until he made a bunch of promises that included moving the legislation through the committee process, including a hearing.

In fact, the new chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO), promised a committee hearing on the idea, which supporters contend would create a fairer, more transparent tax system. It would scrap the federal income, payroll and estate taxes and replace them with the national sales tax.

That's a goldmine for Democrats, and combined with Scott's Social Security and Medicare proposal, provides a ton of ammo as they head towards the 2024 elections.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), have depicted the legislation as part of an extreme Republican agenda that would also target Social Security and other entitlement benefits, referring to the Scott plan.

“I believe it would cause the next Great Depression if we would impose it. Thank God there are firewalls in Leader Jeffries and Democrats in the House.” Schumer said of the national sales tax, contending it would increase the cost of a household by $125,000, of a car by $10,000, and the average grocery bill by $3,500 a year.

Declared Schumer:

“The Senate Democratic Majority knows this is a giveaway to the multi-millionaires and big corporations and Democrats won’t let it happen.

“It is well known that too many wealthy individuals and large corporations – through gaping loopholes – don’t pay their fair share of taxes while average Americans often pay a much higher percent. The thousands of increased IRS personnel are aimed at closing those loopholes and forcing the wealthy and well-connected to finally pay their fair share.

“It is incredible that the first move House Republicans make this Congress is to cut these agents and allow large corporations and wealthy individuals to continue to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

“Republicans use the myth that this will hurt middle class tax payers but Secretary Yellen has publicly pledged that not a dime of the funding will be used to increase audits on small businesses or families making less than $400,000 annually. Just as they failed in 2017, when Republicans cut taxes on the rich and tried to scare the middle class, this won’t work either.”

So, MAGA voters, I ask you. Is that what you bargained for?

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