More than 100 million U.S. households, or 61% of all Americans taxpayers, paid no federal income taxes in 2021, according to a report from the Tax Policy Center.
One Republican senator says that’s simply not OK, demanding that “all” Americans should have some “skin in the game.”
Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, unlike most members of the GOP, has no problem urging tax increases. Last month, the senator unveiled 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.”
Scott 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 the plan may be dead on arrival.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who controls what issues come to the floor for a vote, said at a press conference last week that it “will not be a part of the Republican Senate majority agenda” if the GOP retakes the chamber.
“If we’re fortunate enough to have the majority next year, I’ll be the Majority Leader,” McConnell said. “I’ll decide in consultation with my members what to put on the floor.”
“Now let me tell you what will not be part of our agenda,” McConnell added. “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. That will not be part of a Republican Senate majority agenda.”
In her interview, Ingraham asked Scott, “What is going on here with Mitch McConnell?” adding he’s “not a populist” but instead “an old-style Bush Republican.”
“I just think there’s a difference of opinion,” Scott said.
In closing, Ingraham asked Scott if he wants to take his plan directly to voters, to which he replied: “Hell yeah!”
For the record, it’s not always more than 6 out of 10 Americans who pay no taxes. “The pandemic and federal stimulus led to a huge spike in the number of Americans who either owed no federal income tax or received tax credits from the government,” CNBC reported.
“According to the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, 107 million households owed no income taxes in 2020, up from 76 million — or 44% of all taxpayers — in 2019,” CNBC reported. “The share of Americans who pay zero income taxes is expected to stay high, at around 57% this year, according to the Tax Policy Center. It’s expected to fall back down to 42% in 2022 and remain at around 41% or 42% through 2025.”
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent, and ran the Drudge Report from 2010 to 2015. Send tips to email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.