Dem senator: GOP tax plan is 'far-right Republican scheme' for wealthy

Dem senator: GOP tax plan is 'far-right Republican scheme' for wealthy
© Greg Nash

The Senate Finance Committee's top Democrat on Wednesday blasted the just-released Republican tax plan framework as “a scheme” to enrich the wealthy.

Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenSenate parliamentarian looms over White House spending bill Democrats push tax credits to bolster clean energy Five reasons for concern about Democrats' drug price control plan MORE (Ore.), ranking Democrat on the Senate panel covering taxes, said the GOP tax framework “cuts taxes disproportionately for the well-to-do” while masquerading as a boon for the middle class.

“No amount of spin, no amount of rhetoric can hide the fact that this is a far-right Republican scheme to endow future generations of the mega-wealthy and leave what amounts to crumbs for the middle-class behind,” Wyden said on a press call.

The GOP plan reduces the number of individual tax brackets from seven to three, at rates of 12 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent. Tax-writing committees can add a fourth rate above 35 percent for the wealthiest Americans if they choose to, according to the plan.

The plan cuts the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent and slashes the top rate for pass-through businesses — whose owners file the company’s taxes through their individual returns — to 25 percent.

Wyden has pushed Trump administration officials and GOP lawmakers to promise that wealthy Americans wouldn’t get a tax cut through the sweeping Republican plan to lower tax rates and consolidate certain deductions.

Wyden has also criticized Republicans for attempting to move a tax plan through budget reconciliation, a legislative process that would let the GOP pass the plan with 51 votes in the Senate instead of 60.

“There’s a right way to do tax reform,” Wyden said, citing the 1986 bipartisan tax plan passed under a Republican president and Democrat-controlled House. “Tax reform in 2017 ought to be an opportunity to be hundreds of dollars in each middle-class paycheck.”

Republicans also call for doubling the standard deduction, eliminating the estate and alternative minimum taxes and full expensing for corporate capital investments.