Republicans Used the Coronavirus Bill to Give Millionaires a $90 Billion Gift

Sorry, but Republicans don't care about you unless you're the millionaire owner of a "pass-through entity."Liu Jie/Xinhua via ZUMA

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When the coronavirus rescue bill was passed, it brought everyone’s priorities into high relief. Republican provisions solely benefited corporations. Democratic provisions benefited laid-off workers, hospitals, schools, local governments, and struggling families on food stamps. It’s rare to see such a stark difference in values set down for posterity in a single place.

But there’s more! Republicans have been moaning for the past couple of years that their 2017 tax cut had some provisions that were insufficiently friendly to businesses run by rich people. In the coronavirus bill they fixed that:

More than 80 percent of the benefits of a tax change tucked into the coronavirus relief package Congress passed last month will go to those who earn more than $1 million annually, according to a report by a nonpartisan congressional body expected to be released Tuesday. The provision … will cost taxpayers about $90 billion in 2020 alone, part of a set of tax changes that will add close to $170 billion to the national deficit over the next 10 years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), the nonpartisan congressional body.

….An analysis by the JCT found suspending the limit overwhelmingly benefits higher earners. About 82 percent of the benefits of the policy go to about 43,000 taxpayers who earn more than $1 million annually. Less than 3 percent of the benefits go to Americans earning less than $100,000 a year, the analysis found….Hedge-fund investors and owners of real estate businesses are “far and away” the two prime beneficiaries of the change, said Steve Rosenthal, a tax expert at the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank.

Ain’t that grand? When it comes to rich people, Republicans will work and work and work for every little tax advantage they can dream up. But even in the middle of a pandemic, they can’t bring themselves to care about the working and middle classes. I wonder what other goodies are packed into that bill?

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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