As I write, we're waiting to see whether Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) can persuade his party's deficit chicken hawks to increase the child credit in their tax bill to double the current amount. This as a sop to lower and middle class taxpayers so that the Republicans' so-called reforms don't come off as a complete give-away to corporations and the rich.
Republicans and their benefactors have long complained that tax rates for U.S. corporations and the richest Americans are the highest in the world — which they're not, but we have to let that pass for now. They gloss over the fact that the overwhelming majority of these upper-bracket filers end up paying little or no taxes thanks to a wealth of deductions that they have lobbied for over the years.
Slashing the upper income tax rates was supposed to be accompanied by erasing significant numbers of those tax loopholes, but by some miracle, the only exemptions and deductions being eliminated are the ones used by lower and middle class filers. Exemptions and deductions that benefit the top 1% — including many Republican members of Congress — remain or are increased.
For example, during the fall, Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson — the 26th-richest member of Congress — withheld his support for the bill, leveraging his vote to pressure lawmakers to add provisions to the bill increasing tax breaks for investors in pass-through entities. The most recent federal records show Johnson has up to $30 million of ownership stakes in three LLCs that generate rental income. Johnson earned between $115,000 and $1,050,000 of income from those investments in 2016.And if you still believe the theory that coddling the rich will enable the benefits to trickle down to everybody else once their wealth finally achieves some mythical critical mass, think again. They have plenty of other plans for their tax breaks, starting with mergers and acquisitions and ending with trimming the newly redundant employees from their mega-companies.
Well, at least Monopoly Man at the southeast corner of this cartoon is generating jobs for all the attendants at the sexual harassment clinic.