If the Republican tax plan was designed purely to benefit the rich, as Democrats contend, then why did the richest woman in Congress just rush to take advantage of a tax break eliminated by the conservative reform?
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who denounced the tax overhaul as a “monumental, brazen theft from the middle class” was sure to capitalize on property tax write-offs for two of her multi-million dollar homes before the GOP plan capped deductions at $10,000 on Jan. 1.
Height of hypocrisy
Pelosi’s financial move was the height of hypocrisy for the liberal lawmaker who consistently rails against income inequality and attempts to define herself as a champion for the underprivileged. After Republicans successfully passed their tax proposal, which provides savings for 80 percent of Americans, Pelosi vowed to only pursue “job-creating, wage-raising tax reform with not one penny in tax breaks for the wealthiest one percent.”
The Senate Minority Leader’s promise to go after the wealthiest Americans was, apparently, aimed at her own financial fortune, however. Thanks to her husband’s real estate empire, the California senator’s 2016 financial disclosure statement indicates that she is ranked in the top one-tenth of 1 percent of American earners.
Pelosi’s $100 million net worth makes her the seventh wealthiest congressional earner, and her $137,000 annual property taxes exceed the 2016 U.S. median household income of $59,039 by more than double.
Yet, Pelosi’s privileged status has not kept her from referring to the Gop Tax Bill in cataclysmic terms, calling the wealth-building proposals offered by conservatives “Armageddon” and “like death.”
Pelosi did not think twice about capitalizing on $64,000 in tax cuts from the state and local tax (SALT) deductions offered under the previous tax code. Starting in 2018, the new tax law limits the deduction to $10,000, allowing middle-class Americans to continue benefiting from the write-off, while edging out deductions for people owning multi-million dollar properties.
With help from their allies in the mainstream press and entertainment media, liberals have attempted to convince Americans the Gop Tax breaks overwhelmingly benefit the rich. Pseudo-intellectual publications like Vox argue that “the top 1 [percent] gets 83 [percent] of the gains.”
“What’s missing from the GOP tax bill? Just about anything that would help the working and middle classes,” reads a recent Los Angeles Timesopinion column.
These arguments are characteristic of Pelosi’s documented disdain for the tax plan. However, their arithmetic requires context that Democrats hope most Americans will overlook. When the top 1 percent of earners pay for half of all income taxes, it stands to reason that a 2 percent tax cut on someone making $20 million annually will dwarf a 5 percent tax cut on a low-income earner.
The bottom line is that low-to-middle income Americans, in terms of proportion, stand to benefit the most from the GOP tax cuts.
This is precisely what has elitist lawmakers like Pelosi scrambling to their local tax collector to take advantage of tax breaks that — until Republicans got involved — overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy and privileged.