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Tax Day Thoughts

If you’re among the 43% of Americans who pay individual income tax, you’ve probably done one of two things this Tax Day – wrestled with the complications of the US tax code and sent in your return, cursing and swearing all the way, or merrily procrastinated by pushing it out with an extension. Either way, Tax Day brings stress, resentment, and often unpleasant surprises to the majority of us who diligently “render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar” and is a moment where even the most community-minded of us are susceptible to libertarian musings!

But if taxation is the bane of your life, it’s worth taking a moment to study the latest GOP tax plan brought out by Senator Rick Scott of Florida, a plan that is not just a product of his fevered imagination, but very much in line with the Republican philosophy the “everyone must pay taxes unless they are rich enough to avoid them using the loopholes we provide!”

Some of the highlights of this plan’s impact:

- 100-billion-dollar tax increase on middle-class families

- 75 million American families—96 percent of them making less than $100,000—would pay an average of $1,480 more in taxes each year

- 24 million families of seniors making less than $100,000 per year would face tax increases.

- Another 24 million families with kids making less than $100,000 per year would face tax increases.

- Social Security and Medicare would be eliminated, unless Congress could enact them again

The GOP plan is built on the specious argument that many Americans with low incomes don’t pay any tax, conveniently ignoring the fact that income taxes are not the only taxes people pay and also ignoring the fact that in 2017 Republicans gave a tax break of an average of $250,000 to the richest 1% of the population. In the guise of tax fairness, the Republican plan will hurt the pocketbooks of people who are suffering the most, first from the pandemic and then from the effects of rising oil prices.

This plan has even conservative commentators and pundits worried, but Senator Scott finds plenty of supporters within his own party, safely insulated from public wrath by the vagaries of the electoral college and targeted gerrymandering. And this plan will succeed too, given how Democratic apathy is leading to predictions of a Biden bloodbath in the midterms.

Unless we show up. And vote the likes of Rick Scott out.

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