Kevin McCarthy disavows the 30% national sales tax he promised a vote on to win the House Presidents’ race
Among the things House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) promised a group of 20 hard-right supporters in order to win the president’s gavel was a vote on legislation that would scrap the system internal revenue and the US tax system and replace it with a 30% national sales tax. Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) has already filed legislation for this “fair tax law,” but McCarthy told reporters on Tuesday, he opposes the bill.
McCarthy is not alone. Three GOP congressmen from New York’s swing districts have already pledged to vote against it, condemning the long-term legislation.
Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist called the high national sales tax a “political gift for [President] Biden and the Democrats,” told Semafor that the Tax Fairness Act is “the first significant problem created for the Republican Party by the 20 people who thought there was no downside to the approach that they adopted”. The Wall Street Journal the editorial board agreed and suggested that if “Carter and other supporters insist on a masochistic vote, the GOP could invoke the Freedom Caucus’ ‘lawful order’ demand and kill the Fair Tax in the Ways and Means Committee. .”
And that’s the approach McCarthy and his allies are taking, Axios reports. “Any member’s legislative proposal should go through committee in the regular order, have hearings, be annotated and subject to amendments,” said Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.), One of McCarthy’s negotiators. Extremists may believe they were promised a floor vote on the bill, Axios reports, but top Republicans say McCarthy has only pledged to give the bill a committee hearing.
Replacing all current federal taxes with a national sales tax “is not a new idea,” or a popular idea, notes CNN. An independent analysis of a similar national sales tax in 2011 “found that, on average, most income groups would pay more tax than they did under the federal tax system at the time – with the exception of the top 5% who would benefit from a tax reduction. Unsurprisingly, “outside the deepest trenches of conservatism, a 30% sales tax is mostly seen as an obvious political loser,” Semafor adds. “Democrats, for their part, find it hard to believe their luck that their opponents can get attached to it.”
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