GOP senator: Democrats can only get funding for 'giveaway programs' from the middle class

Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonWisconsin senators ask outsiders not to exploit parade attack 'for their own political purposes' It's time to bury ZombieCare once and for all Marjorie Taylor Greene introduces bill to award Congressional Gold Medal to Rittenhouse MORE (R-Wis.) claimed that Democrats can only get funding for “their giveaway programs,” apparently including provisions in their roughly $2 trillion social spending and climate bill, from the middle class.

“The only place Democrats can get the money to fund all of their giveaway programs is from the middle class, because that's where the money is,” Johnson said Sunday in an interview with John Catsimatidis on WABC 770 AM.

Johnson claimed that even if taxes on corporations were raised, the middle class would ultimately end up shouldering the costs.

“They don't really bear the brunt of the tax increase," he said, referring to corporations. "They just pass it along to consumers and to their employees in lower wages and benefits. So yeah, it's the middle class that always pays."

Johnson’s comments come after House Democrats passed their massive social spending and climate bill, known as the Build Back Better Act, on Friday, sending it on to the Senate after weeks of negotiation with moderates and progressives in the party. 

Among the proposals in the bill is a minimum 15 percent tax rate for corporations that report over $1 billion in profits to their shareholders, which is one of the ways Democrats are seeking to offset the costs in their bill. 

A report released by Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSenate GOP blocks defense bill, throwing it into limbo Restless progressives eye 2024 Poll: Harris, Michelle Obama lead for 2024 if Biden doesn't run MORE (D-Mass.) earlier this week indicated that a number of companies — including Amazon and Facebook — would be paying hundreds of millions of dollars in added taxes if the proposal passes. 

That tax proposal has garnered the support of key Senate Democratic moderate Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaPence-linked group launches 0K ad campaign in West Virginia praising Manchin Schumer eyeing Build Back Better vote as soon as week of Dec. 13 Bottom line MORE (Ariz.).

In the interview Johnson also discussed spiking inflation in the country, claiming that it would cancel out recent increases in workers' wages and social security benefits.

“I think [Democrats are] trying to explain away ... trying to tell Americans that ‘Oh, no, inflation’s good for you. No, it's not,” Johnson said. “Just as your wages are increasing — we've got a record, or at least a more recent record, of an increase of social security benefits — it maybe sounds good, but those increases are going to be wiped out by inflation."

Data released earlier this month by the Labor Department showed that annual inflation had hit a 30-year high in the twelve-month period ending in October.

Several Democratic lawmakers, including Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Manchin seeks 'adjustments' to spending plan Pence-linked group launches 0K ad campaign in West Virginia praising Manchin Democrats push tax credits to bolster clean energy MORE (W.Va.), have also expressed concern about the rise in inflation. "From the grocery store to the gas pump, Americans know the inflation tax is real and DC can no longer ignore the economic pain Americans feel every day," Manchin said on Twitter following the release of the data.

In an appearance on CNN last week, National Economic Council Director Brian DeeseBrian DeeseBiden says 'consumer spending has recovered' to pre-pandemic levels The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Arbery case, Biden spending bill each test views of justice Democrats optimistic as social spending bill heads to Senate MORE said that the Build Back Better Act could combat that spike in inflation. “This, more than anything, will go at the cost that Americans face,” he said of the bill.

Johnson, in contrast, suggested in the interview that the solution to the country's economic concerns would be getting Democrats out of office.