Republicans Not Even Pretending Anymore That They Aren’t the Party of the Rich


Obviously I haven’t been keeping up with Republican shenanigans at the state level. I knew about all the abortion restrictions, and I knew about all the voting restrictions. But somehow I missed this:

Friction over tax policy within the GOP has flared in states such as Louisiana, Nebraska, Kansas and Ohio, as Republican lawmakers raise concerns over projected revenue losses from income-tax cuts. Three of those states shelved big income-tax cuts that would be paid for by broadening the sales tax, and in Kansas, legislators will return next week to a continuing debate over the size and speed of proposed cuts.

Last week, the Indiana legislature passed a plan giving Gov. Mike Pence an income-tax cut that was smaller and phased in over a longer period than his original proposal. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin agreed to an income-tax-cut deal with Republican lawmakers, but they postponed it until 2015 over revenue concerns. North Carolina lawmakers have been discussing a tax overhaul for months but haven’t come up with a plan.

Really? I knew about Bobby Jindal in Louisiana, and his plan to scrap the (progressive) state income tax and make up the revenue by raising the (regressive) state sales tax. But Nebraska, Kansas, Ohio, Indiana, Oklahoma, and North Carolina have all been contemplating the same thing?

WTF? Is this now a conservative thing? Did ALEC or the Heritage Foundation release a white paper about this last year? What possible excuse can they be offering for such a direct tradeoff between lower taxes on the well-off and higher taxes on the middle class? Why risk their reputations on such a transparent sop to the rich? Have they now officially given up even pretending?

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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