Cantor revives GOP war on working poor

Updated

Here we go again: Eric Cantor revives the GOP war on the working poor.  

The House majority leader told a Politico-sponsored breakfast event today that it was imperative that Congress address the “problem” that “more than 45 percent” of Americans (mostly the working poor) “don’t pay income taxes at all.”

Cantor says Republicans are interested in RAISING TAXES (Grover Norquist, where are you?) on the working poor while lowering tax rates for everyone else as part of any comprehensive tax reform plan.

“I’ve never believed that you go raise taxes on those that have been successful that are paying in, taking away from them, so that you just hand out and give to someone else,” Cantor told ABC’s Jon Karl.

You have to give Cantor some credit because at least he used the word “income” when referring to that 45 percent (although he should have added “federal” to say “federal income taxes”).  

After all, most Republicans usually just throw out the phrase “45 percent of Americans don’t pay taxes,” giving the false impression that 45 percent of Americans pay no taxes at all and that the other 55 percent carry the entire load.

We all know that’s silly, of course, because that leaves many other taxes that the working poor pays, either directly or indirectly.  For example, the working poor still pays Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes – 6.2 percent of wages for Social Security and another 1.45 percent for Medicare (employers match for a total of 15.3%).

They also pay a higher percentage of their income on state and local taxes in every state (except Vermont).  In Alabama, for example, families which make less than $13,000 pay 11 percent of their income in state and local taxes, while those making more than $229,000 pay just 4 percent.

Other taxes the working poor pay come in the form of higher prices passed on to consumers, including property taxes, gas taxes, taxes on imported goods and corporate income taxes. 

If you add on GOP proposals to gut Planned Parenthood, cut food stamps, eliminate the Medicare guarantee, repeal the Affordable Care Act and enact tax cuts for millionaires, you have a very clear picture of where the GOP would take our country if they were put back in charge.

Ed will have a lot to say about Cantor’s comments tonight on The Ed Show at 8pET on msnbc.

Eric Cantor

Cantor revives GOP war on working poor

Updated