Republicans desperate for any shred of evidence that the Trump tax legislation was more than just a greedy, callous giveaway to big corporations and the rich pounced on a comment by Senator Bernie Sanders on CNN over the weekend, and now the feisty Independent from Vermont has struck back saying his remarks are being taken “completely out of context.”
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What Sanders really thinks, he said in a statement today, is that the tax bill is a huge gift to the rich.
“The Trump-Republican tax plan,” says Sanders, “is one of the worst pieces of legislation in the modern history of our country.”
The comment that had Republicans giddy came in answer to a question.
.@jaketapper: “Next year, 91% of middle income Americans will receive a tax cut. Isn’t that a good thing?”@BernieSanders: “Yeah, it is a very good thing. And that’s why we should’ve made the tax cuts for the middle class permanent” #CNNSOTU https://t.co/ei8xTHGo1E
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) December 24, 2017
Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas jumped on Sander’s comment to suggest they work together to “permanently extend the middle-class tax cuts.”
However, Sanders was having none of it.
Sanders said Republicans are taking his comment out of context because “they are so desperate to spin their disastrous tax plan.”
Sanders said the reality is that most of the benefits of the bill are for the wealthy and that it increases the national debt and repeals ObamaCare’s individual mandate, which will mean big increases in the cost of health care for most people.
“Instead of this grossly obscene piece of legislation,” says Sanders, “let’s pass tax reform that permanently benefits all middle-income and working-class families without giving tax breaks to the top one percent.”
“Instead of providing huge tax breaks to the rich and large corporations that explode the deficit,” adds Sanders, “which this bill does, millionaires, billionaires, and large profitable corporations must begin paying their fair share of taxes.”
“Then,” continues Sanders, “among other things, we can permanently double the standard deduction, expand the Earned Income Tax Credit, re-instate the personal exemptions and make the Child Tax Credit fully refundable – without increasing the debt future generations will inherit.”
As he has been throughout his tenure in Congress, and as he showed during last year’s presidential election primaries, Sanders is a defender of the middle class and a teller of truth who will not let the Republican con artists get away with twisting the meaning of his comments to make themselves look good – especially when they are the bad guys.
Republicans are struggling to make the bill they voted for sound like what they promised – a break for the middle class – when it is a huge bonanza for the super-rich and crumbs for everyone else.
Good for Bernie Sanders for not letting them get away with it this time.