Scott: 'I will never vote for a tax or fee increase.' His plan still contains a tax hike.

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National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair Rick Scott's latest lie about his unpopular 'Rescue America' plan.

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) lied about his plan for a potential Republican Senate majority on Friday, saying that it would not hike taxes for more than 100 million Americans.

In a Fox Business interview, host Stuart Varney asked the National Republican Senatorial Committee chair about his controversial "Rescue America" plan, which 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."

Scott denied that he wanted to raise taxes on anyone and told Varney he really just means more people should have jobs:

I will never vote for a tax or fee increase. I cut taxes and fees 100 times as governor. Biggest —I did $10.5 billion in tax cuts. I will not do it. No, but just think, if you go get a job, if you're able-bodied and you have a job, one, you pay payroll taxes, you pay income taxes, you might get some of that back. You might buy stuff, you pay sales tax, buy a home, pay property taxes. That's what we gotta do, that's how you build a country. And they get off. They don't need food stamps and Obamacare, things like that.

But that is not what his plan states: It calls for the majority of Americans who do not currently pay income tax — about 102 million people — to pay at least some to have "skin in the game." The majority of those people are either retired or working Americans who simply do not earn enough to meet the $28,000 annual threshold to pay income taxes. They typically already pay other federal taxes, including payroll taxes, gasoline taxes, alcohol taxes, and tobacco taxes.

Those lower-income working families also make up the majority of recipients of benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and of people with subsidized health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act.

Since announcing the 11-point plan for his party in February, Scott has repeatedly misled the public about what is in it.

 

On May 11, he told Fox News that his plan was entirely about putting people back to work. "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?"

The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that unemployment claims had fallen in May to their lowest level in 52 years. Since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, the economy has added 8.3 million jobs, many of which have been credited to his American Rescue Plan, which Scott and every other congressional Republican opposed.

In a Fox News appearance in February, Scott pretended the tax hike section wasn't in the plan. When host Sean Hannity claimed he could not see them in the text and asked if they were there, Scott said. "Of course not. 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."

In addition to making poor and middle-income Americans pay more in taxes, the plan would also sunset all federal laws every five years. This would mean safety net entitlements like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid would automatically expire until Congress could agree twice each decade on reauthorizing them.

But even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said of Scott's plan, "If we're fortunate enough to have the majority next year, I'll be the majority leader. I'll decide in consultation with my members what to put on the floor. We will not have as a part of our agenda a bill that raises taxes on half the American people and sunsets Social Security and Medicare within five years."

An analysis in February by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center found that Scott's plan could mean an average individual federal income tax hike of $1,480. That would mostly burden the bottom 40% of earners.

A March Morning Consult poll found Scott's idea wildly unpopular. Asked if they support the part of Scott's plan "requiring all Americans to pay income tax, including low-income and retired individuals," just 33% of registered voters said they did; 51% said they did not.

While some Republican lawmakers and candidates have avoided saying whether they back Scott's plan, many have endorsed it in whole or in part.

Experts say the plan would also halt action to address climate change, cut aid for children, eliminate millions of jobs for public servants, undermine abortion rights, and remove protections against discrimination for LGBTQ people.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.