Rick Scott denies (again) the fact that his plan would raise taxes for poor families


The chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee is lying again about his 'Rescue America' plan.

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, continues to lie about his "Rescue America" plan. On Wednesday, he falsely alleged that President Joe Biden was "confused" after he accurately described the GOP proposal to raise taxes on more than 100 million Americans.

In an appearance on Fox News' "Fox & Friends," Scott was asked about the unpopular tax hike provisions in his controversial plan for what Republicans would do if they regained a congressional majority in the November midterm elections.

Host Brian Kilmeade noted that Biden had attacked Scott's plan  — which would require the majority of Americans to pay more in federal income taxes — on Tuesday and instead pushed to raise taxes only on corporations and those earning over $400,000.

"Your plan, the 11-point plan — which [Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell didn't sign on to — you put out, says, 'All Americans should pay, have some skin in the game, even if it's a small amount because 50% of this country does not pay income taxes.' So, you are saying if someone makes $30,000, even if it's $30, put some skin in the game?"

Scott responded by misrepresenting his proposal and baselessly questioning Biden's mental acuity.

"I think you get people back to work. What I've said basically is, you know, look, if they are able-bodied, get back to work. Guess what? When you work you pay payroll taxes. You buy things, you pay sales tax. Maybe you buy a house, you pay property taxes," he said. "That's how this country was built. It's built on workers, not people saying, Oh, what new government program can I get on to where I don't have to pay any taxes?

"That's not how this country was built. Let's get back to work. That's what I did when I was governor. My slogan was 'Let's get back — let's get to work,' we added 1.7 million jobs. We gotta do that for the country," Scott said. PolitiFact backs up his claim about job creation over the eight years of his term as governor.

Since Biden took office, the U.S. economy has added about 8.3 million jobs — a record start to his presidency. Much of the job creation was credited to his 2021 American Rescue Plan, which Scott and his party opposed.

Blasting Biden and repeating his accusations that the president is incompetent, he said, "We know he can't do it, let's be honest. We know that Joe Biden cannot fix this economy. Get out of the way and let someone else do it. ... He is confused. I mean, he is confused about all these things. There is nothing — go to rescueamerica.com — my plan. Is there anything in my plan about saying that some poor family is going to pay another $1,500 a year in taxes? No. Get people back to work."

Scott's plan states, "All Americans should pay some income tax to have skin in the game, even if a small amount. Currently over half of Americans pay no income tax."

Among the 102 million Americans who don't pay income taxes are retired people and lower-income families who do not earn enough to owe them. But most of those do work, and payroll taxes deducted from their salaries go to fund social safety net programs.

They typically also have "have skin in the game" by paying tobacco, alcohol, gasoline, and other federal taxes. While Scott acknowledged this contribution in his Fox News appearance, his plan explicitly addresses those who pay no income tax.

Working families that make less than $28,000 a year often get more back in government support than they pay in income taxes. In order to get them to pay even just $100, Scott would have to also take away those subsidies. As a result, it would be a net hike of more than $1,000 for many of the families who can afford that the least.

According to an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, this would amount to an average federal tax hike of $1,480 — the roughly $1,500 figure Scott denied is in his plan. That would especially hit those at the bottom: The vast majority (82.6%) of the new tax burden would fall on the 40% of Americans making the least, while the top 20% would shoulder just 0.2% of the increase.

Biden ran and won in the 2020 presidential election on a promise to raise individual taxes only on those earning at least $400,000 annually.

Scott and every other Republican in Congress opposed any tax increase for the richest Americans. Last November, he specifically told Fox News he was "not going to raise anybody's taxes."

This is not the first time Scott has denied that his plan would result in higher income taxes for Americans. In February, just after he released the plan, host Sean Hannity claimed he could not find any tax hike proposals in it. "Did you have that in your plan?" he asked sarcastically. "Was it in invisible ink in the copy that I got?"

"Of course not," the Florida Republican lied. "No, Chuck Schumer, who wants to raise taxes for everything, while I've cut, I've cut, as governor I cut taxes and fees 100 times. We're the opposite. But Chuck Schumer, he is all-in to take every dime you have."

As White House press secretary Jen Psaki noted on Tuesday, Scott's plan has been praised by a wide array of other GOP figures, including Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel, Sen. Mike Braun (IN), Sen. Ron Johnson (WI), Sen. Tommy Tuberville (AL), and Rep. Matt Gaetz (FL).

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.