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GOP Senator Slammed For Pledge to Make More Americans Pay Taxes

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


A Republican senator is doubling down on his call for more Americans in lower-income brackets to pay more in income taxes, a position that puts him at odds with the bulk of his party and GOP voters.

Sen. Rick Scott of Florida has floated the notion of having more Americans put “skin in the game” following a new analysis by the Tax Policy Center that found the majority of earners, 61 percent, paid no federal income taxes in 2021, The Daily Wire noted.

Last month, he introduced a plan that said, “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.”

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Scott also appeared Monday night on Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle,” saying many people “want free government stuff.”

“Here’s what’s not fair,” he told host Laura Ingraham. “We have hard-working Americans – they’re paying all these taxes, and retirees pay them. Who’s not? We’ve got some billionaires not paying it, and we got people that want free government stuff and they don’t want to have any skin in the game. That’s not fair.”

But others are pushing back in a big way on Scott’s plan, including some who responded to The Daily Wire’s report:

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— “Instead of going after people who don’t pay taxes maybe this potato should be fighting to reduce government spending including the entitlements, and then lower taxes for everyone. The federal government was never intended to do the multi-democratic of stuff that it does. If any of it NEEDS to be done, it can be handled at the state level.”

— “Why is controlling spending never seriously discussed? I get what he is doing, but intake doesn’t seem to be the problem.”

— “The Federal Acquisition Regulations and all their little peccadillos virtually guarantee that tax money will be spent incredibly wastefully. When Congress can work a full year and I get a dollar of value for every dollar I’m taxed then we can talk. Until then, I’m the best judge of where my money should go.”

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In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, Scott proposed, among other things, measures that ensure American wage earners at every level, including the lowest paid, contribute to federal income taxes, even if the amount is small.

“I’ve been told there are unwritten rules in Washington about what you can and cannot say. You can’t tell the public that Social Security and Medicare are going bankrupt. You can’t talk about term limits, because, while voters want them, nobody in Washington does. You can’t talk about balancing the budget or shrinking the debt,” he wrote.

“So, I went out and made a statement that got me in trouble. I said that all Americans need to have some skin in the game. Even if it is just a few bucks, everyone needs to know what it is like to pay some taxes. It hit a nerve,” he added.

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“Part of the deception is achieved by disconnecting so many Americans from taxation. It’s a genius political move. And it is bankrupting us,” he said.

“There will be many more attacks on me and this plan from careerists in Washington, who personally profit while ruining this country. Bring it on. The American people are fed up, and they will show that at the ballot box this November,” Scott continued.

His plan seems dead on arrival, however, as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has already shot it down.

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“I’ll decide in consultation with my members what to put on the floor,” McConnell said. “And let me tell you what will not be a part of our agenda.

“We will not have as part of our agenda a bill that raises taxes on half the American people and sunsets Social Security and Medicare within five years,” he said.

“That will not be part of a Republican Senate majority agenda. We will focus instead on what the American people are concerned about: inflation, energy, defense, the border and crime,” McConnell added.

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