Republican Sen. Rick Scott continues to distance himself from his own tax hike plan

Republican Sen. Rick Scott continues to distance himself from his own tax hike plan
Sen. Rick Scott of Florida speaking at the 2021 Student Action Summit, hosted by Turning Point USA at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida, Gage Skidmore

Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, chair of the Senate Republican Senatorial Committee, wants a do-over on the 11-point plan he released in February that seeks to raise taxes on tens of millions of Americans.

So where did he go Friday to lie about his mess and do a little clean up? Fox.

Fox Business host Stuart Varney helpfully explained that Scott wouldn't be "raising taxes" on 75 million Americans.

"What you're trying to do is put more Americans back to work who then pay taxes, is that correct?" asked Varney.

"I will never vote for a tax or fee increase," responded Scott, offering that he routinely cut taxes as governor of Florida.

Then Scott sought to paint all the increases he recommended in platform as a byproduct of putting people back to work who would then pay the attendant taxes on payroll, income, sales, and property.

The problem is, Scott's explanation doesn't even remotely resemble what he wrote in the so-called "Rescue America" platform:

"All Americans should pay some income tax to have skin in the game, even if a small amount. Currently over half of Americans pay no income tax."

Nothing there suggests the taxes are levied only on people who have found gainful employment after being out of the workforce. Far from it. The suggestion is actually that Republicans would raise taxes on the tens of millions of Americans who are actively employed but make too little to pay federal income taxes.

The real problem for Scott is that he revealed what Republicans actually stand for, and the American people think it stinks. In fact, it's never a good idea for Republicans to talk policy and agenda ahead of a general election because their entire platform is so fringe and out of step. That's exactly why GOP Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to say what Republicans plan to do if they regain the Senate majority in November.

Scott has been playing clean up for months now, penning op-eds, tweeting, and making Fox appearances.

But as Howard Gleckman, senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center, told CNN: “Scott has the plan he published, then he has tweets and op-eds where he says he didn’t say what the plan says in plain English.”

Scott’s latest walk back comes a couple weeks after President Joe Biden devoted an economic speech to contrasting his economic agenda with the one proposed by Scott—the Senate GOP's de facto policy agenda.

"Their plan is to raise taxes on 75 million American families, over 95% of whom make less than $100,000 a year, total income," Biden said. "They’ve got it backwards, in my view."


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