GOP lawmaker called hiking taxes on poor families a 'significant win'


Pennsylvania's Mike Turzai lavished praise on the unpopular Republican tax scam even though it hikes taxes on working families.

Pennsylvania House Speaker Mike Turzai (R) actually claimed that it was a "significant win" to hike taxes on millions of Pennsylvania families — a gaffe that might convince many voters not to send him back to Harrisburg.

Turzai may have coasted to a landslide victory just two years ago, but now he's struggling in a tight re-election battle with Democrat Emily Skopov in the 28th House District.

His tone-deaf views on the economy might be one reason why.

Last year, Republicans in Congress passed a tax scam that lavished billions on Wall Street banks while leaving poor and middle-class families in the cold. It was, and still is, deeply unpopular with voters.

Yet Turzai praised Trump and Republican Senator Pat Toomey for helping pass the scam into law, calling it "a significant win for Pennsylvania families."

It's only a "win" for the very richest Pennsylvania families. Everyone else loses.

When fully implemented in 2027, Pennsylvania's richest one percent would get an average kickback of almost $7,000, while the poorest 20 percent would see a tax increase of more than $100. Those in the second-poorest and middle quintiles would see an average tax hike of $90.

That's according to an analysis of the law by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), which shows the bill as a massive giveaway to the wealthiest Pennsylvanians coupled with a significant tax hike on the poorest.

Most families aren't seeing any increase in their paychecks from the bill. Further, economic data shows wages are either stagnant or falling, once adjusted for inflation.

While the bill Turzai praised punishes working-class families, it's a boon for wealthy CEOs. Through multi-billion dollar stock buyback schemes, rich executives are lining their own pockets at the expense of workers.

In contrast to Turzai, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto warned that the tax scam would have a negative impact on the region.

That's because, in order to pay for the massive tax breaks for the very wealthy, the tax bill increased the national budget deficit by a staggering $1.8 trillion.

Peduto predicted that Republicans would try to fill the budget gap by cutting funding for health care programs like Medicaid.

"Cuts to our health care will have negative effects on the economy of Southwestern Pennsylvania," Peduto said in March. "There are three times as many people working at UPMC hospitals in our region than there are steelworkers working in the entire state."

Recently, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) proved Peduto right, announcing Republicans will cut health care funding in order to cover the costs of the unfair tax bill that Turzai praised.

In the end, Turzai supports tax hikes on the poorest Pennsylvania families in order to heap unneeded tax breaks on the wealthiest one percent — all while putting jobs and health care at risk in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

No wonder so many voters are weighing the option of firing Turzai on Nov. 6.