The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sam Quigley,,

"Adding Insult To Injury"

"This tax bill will hurt millions of families and children."


Today, as analysis of the Senate GOP tax bill rolls in and Congress prepares to negotiate in conference committee, the Patriotic Millionaires commented on some of the most insulting parts of the bill and the surrounding process.

The Senate bill's complete disregard for the health and financial wellbeing of the average American will lead to millions of middle class American families paying higher taxes, and millions more losing their health insurance. Not only that, it also contains provisions that are so egregious they seem almost designed to rub dirt into the wounds of people hurt by this bill. Below are some of the worst examples, with accompanying statements from the Patriotic Millionaires.

1. Arctic Drilling

"Senator Murkowski's vote was bought and paid for by adding the controversial expansion of arctic drilling. She took a stand against ACA repeal, but this bill will cause nearly as many Americans to lose health insurance. Apparently endangering the health of millions of Americans is only acceptable when it is paired with endangering Alaskan wildlife and ecosystems as well."

2. CHIP Funding

Last week Senator Orrin Hatch, when asked about Congress' failure to reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program, said "We don't have money anymore," and "I have a rough time wanting to spend billions and trillions of dollars to help people who won't help themselves."

"Senator Hatch's comments are frankly disgusting. To say that there isn't enough money for children's health care while passing a $1.4 trillion tax cut for millionaires and corporations is the height of hypocrisy. The Senate's inaction on CHIP is inexcusable in and of itself, but to cast sick children as 'people who won't help themselves' is an outrage, and one the American people will not accept."

3. Private school tax deduction

"In the Senate bill tax-exempt college savings plans will now be expanded to parents saving for K-12 private school tuition. It is absurd that we are now providing tax incentives for people to send their children to private schools while at the same time eliminating the ability of people to deduct their state and local taxes that go directly to supporting public schools. This tax bill will hurt millions of families and children who rely on public schools, but will be great for wealthy Senators and their millionaire donors who send their children to expensive private schools."

4. Booze, Women, and Movies

This morning, defending the bill's repeal of the estate tax, Senator Chuck Grassley said, "I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing, as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it's on booze or women or movies."

"Let's set aside the fact that at the current estate tax exemption level you would have needed to spend $5.5 million on women, booze, and movies before raising the exemption limit would have affected you. The idea that everyone isn't rich just because they waste their money on booze and women is absurd and insulting. This isn't just a gaffe, this is him saying what he believes, and giving us a window into the utter contempt the GOP holds for middle class Americans who don't qualify for the estate tax."

To schedule an interview or for further comment, please contact Sam Quigley at

The Patriotic Millionaires is a group of high-net worth Americans who share a profound concern about the destabilizing level of inequality in America. Our work centers on the two things that matter most in a capitalist democracy: power and money. Our goal is to ensure that the country's political economy is structured to meet the needs of regular Americans, rather than just millionaires. We focus on three "first" principles: a highly progressive tax system, a livable minimum wage, and equal political representation for all citizens.

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