Thursday evening, as the Senate Finance Committee met to discuss the tax bill, two senators from opposite parties engaged in a vicious back-and-forth over who will benefit from their plan.
Sherrod Brown really takes the fight to Orrin Hatch here. No Trumpian namecalling or low blows. Instead focusing on the GOP helping only the ultra-rich. Judging by how mad Hatch got, Brown hit a soft spot. pic.twitter.com/WxDFb8ipHB
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) November 17, 2017
“It would be nice, just tonight, before we go home, to just acknowledge well this tax cut really is not for the middle class it’s for the rich,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said. “And that whole thing about higher wages, well it’s a good selling point, but we know companies don’t just give away higher wages just because they have more money […] corporations are sitting on a lot of money now, they’re sitting on a lot of profits now, I don’t see wages going up. So just spare us the bankshot, spare us the sarcasm and the satire.”
Brown was referring to the $4,000 dollar lie the White House and Congressional Republicans are using against Democrats who argue the bill is bad for middle class families. According to the GOP, cutting taxes for corporations would result in more jobs and higher wages resulting in a $4,000 dollar raise for the average American household. The brand of trickle-down economics, however, has proved itself to be unsuccessful.
This seemed to have struck a nerve with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the Senate Finance Committee chair, who lashed out at Brown by using his working-class past to argue the tax plan is not a giveaway to the wealthy.
“I come from the poor people, and I’ve been here working my whole stinking career for people who don’t have a chance,” Hatch shouted at Brown. “And I really resent anybody saying that I’m just doing this for the rich. Give me a break. I think you guys over play that all the time, and it gets old. And frankly, you ought to quit it.”
Hatch went on to tell Brown he was “sick and tired” of the “overplayed” argument that the tax plan will be a boon to only the wealthy.
Brown responded by saying he was “sick and tired” of the wealthiest getting “richer and richer.”
During the exchange, Hatch was forced to fall back on claims about his own upbringing rather than dispute Brown’s substantive arguments. This is likely because there is no credible way to defend the tax plan, as study after study has proven it would actually raise taxes on middle class families.
— Jeremy Slevin (@jeremyslevin) November 16, 2017
The center of the GOP tax plan is a tax cut for corporations. This giant tax cut is expensive, costing nearly $1.5 trillion dollars over the next decade. The Senate plans to pay for this, in part, by repealing the individual mandate, which requires individuals to be covered by health insurance. As a result, 13 million Americans would be incentivized to go without coverage, saving the government money.