'Rotten' and 'grossly regressive' GOP tax proposals are a major 'gift' for Democrats: conservative

'Rotten' and 'grossly regressive' GOP tax proposals are a major 'gift' for Democrats: conservative
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Economy

Rep. Buddy Carter of Georgia has introduced a bill that calls for eliminating the national income tax and replacing it with a national sales tax of 23 percent, which, according to Carter’s critics, would really amount to 30 percent. President Joe Biden and other Democrats have been quick to attack Carter’s proposal, which has been dubbed the Fair Tax Act of 2023, and stress that it would be terrible for working-class Americans.

Washington Post opinion columnist Jennifer Rubin, a Never Trumper, is vehemently critical of the Fair Tax Act and other GOP tax proposals in her January 23 column. MAGA Republicans, Rubin argues, are trying to increase the tax burden on Americans who can least afford it while making it easier for the wealthiest Americans to dodge taxes.

“The MAGA GOP, abandoning all pretense of populism, has a scheme to junk the progressive tax code and replace it with a national sales tax, with devastating results for the middle class,” Rubin warns. “That tells you a lot about the contrasting visions of the two parties. One still fights for the little guy in practical, concrete terms while the other proposes one harebrained scheme after another with no regard to the needs of average Americans.”

READ MORE:How Republicans are aiming to 'protect tax cheaters' with new bill: report

Although Rubin, now in her early sixties, has voted Republican in most presidential elections since the 1960s, she has been vehemently critical of former President Donald Trump and the MAGA movement. And she argues that Carter and other House Republicans of 2023 are out of touch with most Americans.

“That grotesque widening of income inequality offends most Americans, who consistently tell pollsters the rich should pay more,” Rubin writes. “GOP politicians and their wealthy donors see things differently. The first tax measure proposed by the MAGA House was to try to take back funding for the IRS to chase down tax cheats…. A mammoth 30 percent sales tax would be grossly regressive, socking it to the same working- and middle-class families Republicans ostensibly worry are paying more at the pump and grocery store because of inflation.”

Rubin adds, “You know the idea is rotten when Grover Norquist, the head of Americans for Tax Reform, blasted the move.”

Carter’s national sales tax proposal is being slammed from both the left and the right. Norquist has attacked the proposal from the right, while Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has attacked it from the left. On January 19, Warren tweeted, “Hold on: House Republicans want a national 30 percent sales tax on everything from groceries to gasoline? They want to raise taxes on working-class & middle-class families while slashing them for millionaires & billionaires? Are they TRYING to show exactly how out of touch they are?”

READ MORE: House Republicans 'admitted' that 'tax cuts don’t pay for themselves': columnist

Reporting for Axios on January 23, journalist Hans Nichols stresses that President Joe Biden has been quick to hammer Carter for his 30 national percent sales tax proposal.

“With a divided Congress, the political battle over the economy for the next two years will be more about perception than actual policies,” Nichols reports. “Biden wants to build a narrative for his case by bludgeoning Republicans with their own words. One way he'll do that is by trying to tie the GOP to Rep. Buddy Carter's (R-Ga.) national sales tax bill, which House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) reportedly agreed to bring to the floor in exchange for the support of far-right rebels.”

Nichols adds, “Even some Republicans see a vote on the Fair Tax Act as a potential vulnerability. ‘This is a political gift to Biden and the Democrats,’ leading tax reform advocate Grover Norquist told Semafor last week.”

With biting sarcasm, Biden said of Carter’s Fair Tax Act of 2023, “National sales tax, that’s a great idea. It would raise taxes on the middle class by taxing thousands of everyday items from groceries to gas, while cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans.”

Rubin argues that although Carter’s idea is likely doomed, the very fact that he introduced his bill in the first place is appalling.

“The GOP plan boils down to this: Let rich tax cheats get away with not paying what they owe while redoing the entire tax system so the overwhelming burden will fall on those less able to pay,” Rubin writes. “Genius! Well, if you are a Democrat running in 2024. The plan is unlikely even to get a vote. But it is indicative of the utter lack of seriousness that pervades the GOP. They throw out one boneheaded idea after another, hoping to please some segment of their base or donors, with nary a care in the world for the needs of their constituents nor for the actual challenges we face.

READ MORE: 'Really?' Both sides pan Georgia Republican's 'dumb' national sales tax proposal

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