After screaming bloody murder about the $1.9 trillion price tag of the American Rescue Plan designed to help the masses who are struggling during the pandemic, Republicans are now pushing to repeal the estate tax, which would be a gift to the obscenely wealthy.
President Joe Biden signed the coronavirus stimulus package into law on Thursday without a single vote of support from the GOP in Congress. Republicans repeatedly complained about the cost to taxpayers even though that taxpayer money is literally being used to help taxpayers themselves in this time of crisis so they can pay their bills, avoid eviction, and put food on the table.
In addition, Republicans opposed raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, a measure that ended up being excluded from the final bill.
Yet, despite prattling on about the national debt that they all of a sudden once again supposedly care about, Republicans introduced bills in the House and Senate pushing for repeal of the estate tax, which would give the wealthiest Americans $1.7 trillion. Seriously.
Republicans claim that repealing the estate tax would help small businesses and family farms, but that’s a total lie. The fact is that Democrats have already helped small businesses and family farms with funding in the American Rescue Plan, a law every Republican voted against. The estate tax is only paid by a tiny percentage of billionaires and does not effect small business owners or family farms at all.
This latest gift Republicans want to give to their wealthy owners would be on top of the trillions they received from the GOP’s 2017 tax law and would do more to add to the debt and deficit than the coronavirus relief law that they are complaining about. We’re talking about years of revenue losses.
In response, Democrats skewered Republicans for their hypocrisy, with Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) leading the charge.
While Senate Republicans told us we cannot afford to provide $1,400 direct payments to the working class, they had no problem introducing a bill this week to repeal the estate tax which would provide a $1.7 trillion tax break to the billionaire class. Total hypocrisy!
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 12, 2021
Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) noted that Republicans just proved that Democrats are the champions for lower and middle class Americans.
“What a wonderful way for Democrats to continue to show the difference between Republican priorities and Democratic priorities,” Murphy told the Huffington Post. “Republicans are obsessive about delivering massive tax cuts to their super wealthy friends. Democrats just proved we were willing to go big in order to put money in the pockets of lower- and middle-income Americans.”
The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center reports that only 1,900 estates in the entire nation pay the estate tax, and all of them can afford to do so.
Clearly, Republicans are okay with blowing up the debt to give rich people more money they don’t need while gleefully voting against putting more money in the pockets of millions of struggling Americans. Democrats should fire back by repealing the GOP’s 2017 tax law, which they should be able to do by using the reconciliation process. It would not only bring back revenues to pay for the American Rescue Plan, it would repeal the tax hike Republicans put on the backs of most Americans starting this year. Then we can sit back and watch Republicans cry some more.
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