A plan from Senator Rick Scott, the chair of the Senate Republicans’ campaign committee, proposes a number of policies that would raise taxes and put vital programs in peril. The Scott plan proposes instituting a federal minimum income tax, defunding federal support for state and local programs and sunsetting all federal legislation.
The Scott plan would raise taxes on millions of families, cost jobs and stifle long-term economic growth. As the United States continues to recover from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, imposing a painful austerity budget on working families and seniors would take the economy in the wrong direction.
A federal minimum tax would hurt working families, seniors and active-duty service members and slow long-term economic growth.
The Scott plan to raise taxes on working families, seniors and active-duty military would impose financial pain and hardship on many Americans. Recent analysis by the Tax Policy Center shows that imposing a federal minimum income tax of $100 for single filers and $200 for couples filing jointly would be a severe economic burden on many Americans. It would especially burden the millions of families and workers who receive the refundable Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit. In addition, millions of seniors on Social Security who are currently exempt from federal income tax and active-duty military receiving tax-exempt combat pay would have to "pay some income tax to have skin in the game” according to Senator Scott.
A new federal minimum income tax would raise taxes on almost 43% of individuals and families and would increase taxes by an average of $450 for middle-income households. A new federal minimum tax of $100 for each adult would increase federal income taxes by $100 billion in 2022, and approximately 97% of the cost would fall on households making under $100,000. It would create financial pain and hardship by raising taxes on families, workers and seniors who already shoulder a disproportionate share of state, local and payroll tax burdens.
Raising taxes on millions of low-income families through a federal minimum income tax would increase income inequality and bring down long-term economic growth. A federal minimum income tax would drastically increase taxes for those who could least afford it. It would place undue financial burden on workers and families who are already feeling the strain of inflation, which is a result of the global coronavirus pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Defunding state and local governments would take away jobs and hurt local economies across the country.
The Scott plan to end federal support to state and local governments would defund jobs for public school teachers, police and firefighters. The federal government provided $3.9 billion to state and local law enforcement for fiscal year 2022, which funded hiring programs, technology upgrades and efforts to fight opioids. Similarly, the federal government provided almost $43 billion in grants and aid to public K-12 schools nationwide and $720 million in grant programs for firefighters in fiscal year 2022. Nationally, there are 795,000 police officers and detectives, 317,200 firefighters and 3.2 million full- and part-time public-school teachers serving local communities. Senator Scott’s proposal to “eliminate all federal programs that can be done locally” would defund federal support for these critical state and local jobs.
Eliminating federal funding for health programs such as CHIP and Medicaid would hurt families and impact health care jobs. Almost 86 million people rely on Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP) for their health insurance, and the federal government provides more than half the funding for Medicaid and 87% of the funding for CHIP. Eliminating federal funding would hurt millions of Americans and reduce health care jobs, especially in rural areas that have experienced a wave of hospital closures.
Sunsetting federal programs would imperil Social Security, Medicare and veterans’ benefits, which would create uncertainty for families and cause economic chaos.
The Scott proposal to sunset all legislation every five years would create uncertainty for Americans who rely on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and veterans’ benefits. Forcing Congress to vote every five years to re-enact every law would put vital programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in peril, as many Republicans in Congress have voted or expressed their support for cutting or privatizing one or more of these programs. Under current law, programs like Social Security, Medicare and veterans’ benefits provide benefits to all eligible individuals. But under the Scott proposal, continued funding for these programs would not be guaranteed, and millions of recipients would face financial insecurity.
Forcing Congress to reauthorize Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and veterans’ benefits every five years would create economic chaos for millions of individuals and local economies. In 2020, there were 62 million Medicare beneficiaries, 65 million Social Security beneficiaries and 20 million U.S. veterans eligible for VA benefits. Requiring congressional reauthorization every five years would jeopardize the health and well-being of millions of Americans who rely on these programs. Federal programs like Social Security also provide a consistent source of income for seniors, which is essential to local economies, particularly in states like Florida that have a high number of seniors. Similarly, federal programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare and agencies like the Department of Veterans Affairs support jobs throughout the United States, especially in areas with high numbers of seniors and veterans.
The Scott plan would raise taxes on millions of Americans and put programs like Social Security and Medicare in jeopardy.