Opinion

HEBERT: The Democratic Party’s Obsession With Tax Hikes Shows Contempt For The Middle Class

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Tom Hebert Americans for Tax Reform

President Trump and congressional Republicans engineered an economic boom with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

December alone saw 312,000 jobs added to the economy. The United States has been named the world’s most competitive economy, small business confidence is hitting record highs, and manufacturers have posted their biggest jobs gains in 20 years.

Despite this economic success, Democrats have been relentless in advocating for massive tax hikes on the American people. Since winning the House in the midterm elections, Democrats have been laying the groundwork to increase taxes and expand Obamacare.

The Democrats’ first step was to change the House rules to make it easier for them to raise taxes.

Under Republican control, any federal tax increase needed a three-fifths supermajority and an automatic roll-call vote. Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s new House rules package changed these requirements, in the process making it easier for tax-hiking politicians to hide behind a voice vote when raising taxes on their constituents.

Self-avowed Democratic socialist and freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York has garnered media attention for her full-throated opposition to free-market capitalism and innovation. Ocasio-Cortez’s latest, not-so-greatest idea is to tax the top earners 70 percent to fund her absurd “Green New Deal.”

When combined with New York state taxes, Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal would cost top earners in New York a staggering 82.7 percent. Counter to the narrative of socialists like Ocasio-Cortez, the top 1 percent of income earners already shoulder 39 percent of the federal tax burden.

Democrats have already begun putting these tax hikes on paper. Senior House Democrats Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut and Jan Schakowsky of Illinois have introduced legislation that fully repeals the TCJA. The bill also introduces a 5-percent surtax on Americans making more than $500,000, repeals tax-preferred Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts, and creates a new tax on sugary drinks.

While Democrats purport to be the party of the middle class, their obstruction of middle-class tax reform tells a different story. Democrats have already voted against middle-class tax reform by voting against a proposal to make the expanded standard deduction and child tax credit permanent for American families.

On the same day, New York Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey introduced a bill giving a $140,000 a year tax break for blue-state millionaires by reinstating the full SALT deduction previously repealed by the TCJA.

Finally, the new Democrat majority wants to use their power to prop up Obamacare, a failing law that has caused skyrocketing premiums and dwindling choice for health care consumers.

In an MSNBC town hall, Speaker Pelosi called for a “replacement” of the individual mandate. The individual mandate, the infamous tax penalty for individuals unable to afford health insurance, was a blatant war on the poor. According to the most recent IRS data, 75 percent of families impacted by the mandate in 2016 made less than $50,000.

The facts are clear: the Republican tax cuts have helped individuals and families all across America. Middle-class Americans all across the country are seeing more money in their paychecks, and families are benefiting from the doubled child tax credit and the doubled standard deduction.

For decades, Democrats have told voters that they are the party of the working class. But so far, instead of helping the working class with further tax cuts, Democrats are hell-bent on repealing the law that has helped millions of American families.

Now that they have taken control of the House, it is clear that their main priority is thwarting this economic progress in their drive for higher taxes and an even bigger government.

Tom Hebert is a tax associate at Americans for Tax Reform, a nonprofit group dedicated to advancing lower taxes and limited government.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.