EDITORIAL: Tax Reform 2.0 is just another GOP scam to benefit the wealthy

SHARE EDITORIAL: Tax Reform 2.0 is just another GOP scam to benefit the wealthy
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Getty Images file photo/Joe Raedle

Republicans in Washington want to double down on a bad bet with more deficit-ballooning, wealth gap-widening tax cuts.

House GOP leaders want to vote by Oct. 1 on “Tax Reform 2.0,” another scheme to make the richest Americans even richer while tossing crumbs to John and Jane Q. Public.

Just in time for the mid-terms, too. A vote before November would give the GOP ammunition to claim they tried to help the middle class and make last year’s individual tax cuts, set to expire in 2025, permanent.

EDITORIAL

“Tried,” because 2.0, if it passes the House, will likely be dead on arrival in the Senate, where Democrats won’t help with the scheme.

John and Jane Q. Public, polls show, pretty much hate the 2017 tax cuts. They’re smart enough to see through the politics at work here, and recognize 2.0 for what it is: A ploy to shovel more of our country’s wealth into the hands of a tiny fraction of ultra-rich households.

An analysis by the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that 2.0 would give the richest 1 percent of households — those making $732,800 and up — an average tax cut of $32,650. The bottom 60 percent of households — those earning below $86,100 — would get an average tax cut of . . . a whopping $340.

Plus, 2.0 would make more cuts to the estate tax that’s paid by only about 5,000 wealthy families — while permanently capping the $10,000 SALT (state and local tax) deduction that millions of taxpayers use.

There’s more, but you get the drift.

Meanwhile, 2.0 would add another $3.2 trillion to the federal deficit over the next decade, according to the Tax Policy Center. That’s on top of the $1.5 trillion that 1.0 piled on. At this rate, our kids five generations hence will still be paying it off.

It’s worth remembering what happened to the higher pay companies promised when they got huge tax breaks last year. Most of the windfall was plowed into stock buybacks, enriching top executives and shareholders — who already tend to be wealthier — at the expense of workers.

We said last year that real economic growth comes from paying workers better, providing education and health care, and helping the middle class to thrive.

Lawmakers should double down on that bet instead.

Send letters to letters@suntimes.com

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