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Trump tax cut

U.S. President Donald Trump smiles at House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) after speaking about the passage of tax cut legislation at the White House in Washington, D.C. on December 20, 2017. (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

If They Retake Congress, Republicans Plan to Make Trump Tax Cuts for Rich Permanent

"I'm shocked," said one progressive journalist, "shocked to see that when it comes to tax cuts for the wealthy, the Republicans really don't care about inflation, deficits, the debt, or inequality."

Brett Wilkins

Republican Party leaders have designs to push for the extension of corporate tax cuts and permanently reduce the rate for the wealthiest Americans if they regain control of Congress in the upcoming midterm elections, according to new reporting out Monday.

"Never, ever, ever allow any Republican to claim they can't support legislation because 'it's not paid for' or there are no 'offsets.'"

Derisively referred to as the "GOP tax scam" of 2017, the legislation signed by Trump was disingenuously touted by the former president as "a bill for the middle class," but in reality resulted in a massive windfall for large corporations and the wealthy.

While Trump said that "corporations are literally going wild" over the measure that saw most of the $1.5 trillion in tax cuts go to the wealthiest 1% of Americans and corporations, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated the legislation would add $1.7 trillion to the national debt by 2027.

New reporting by The Washington Post on Monday details how Republicans believe, if they do retake the House and Senate, they can force through an extension of the Trump tax cuts for the rich by putting President Joe Biden in a political box ahead of the 2024 presidential campaign.

According to the Post:

Many economists say the GOP's plans to expand the tax cuts flies against their promises to fight inflation and reduce the federal deficit, which have emerged as central themes of their 2022 midterm campaign rhetoric. Tax cuts boost inflation just like new spending, because they increase economic demand and throw it out of balance with supply. But Republicans say they believe these efforts would put Biden in a political bind, requiring him to choose between vetoing the tax cuts—giving the GOP an attack line in the 2024 presidential election—or allowing Republicans to win on one of their central legislative agenda items.

In response to the Post's reporting, Democrats running for Congress underscored what's at stake in next month's midterms.

"The extreme MAGA Republicans' top priorities? Destroying Social Security and Medicare and criminalizing reproductive freedom," U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) tweeted in response to the Post report. "Now they also want tax cuts for corporations and the super-wealthy which adds to the deficit and worsens inflation."

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a Democrat running to represent the state in the U.S. Senate, said in a statement that his Republican opponent, TV doctor Mehmet Oz, "would be an automatic vote for this disastrous GOP agenda to cut taxes for the wealthy and corporations while making inflation worse."

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (D-Ga.) told the Post that Republicans successfully used a similar strategy to force former Democratic presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama to sign tax cuts they did not initially support.

"The trick is to put the president in a position of either getting defeated in 2024 or signing your stuff into law," Gingrich explained. "Republicans will make it a priority to continue the Trump tax cuts because it puts the Democrats in a position of being for tax increases and against economic growth."

However, White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates said that "the House GOP's top priority is to worsen inflation and raise energy and healthcare costs by repealing the Inflation Reduction Act. Then they want to further sell middle-class families out to the rich with another tax giveaway to rich special interests."

Social Security and Medicare defenders are also warning that those popular social programs, which each serve tens of millions of older Americans, face "grave danger" if Republicans retake Congress.

"Never, ever, ever allow any Republican to claim they can't support legislation because 'it's not paid for' or there are no 'offsets,'" said David Badash, founder and editor of The New Civil Rights Movement. "Not when they plan to expand the massive tax cuts for the rich and corporations if they win next month."

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