Short of ripping off their clothes and having sex on the set, it’s hard to imagine anything more repulsive than watching two elitists like Laura Ingraham and Sen. Rick Scott pretend to be populists while they openly disdain the half of Americans who don't earn enough to pay federal income taxes. But that’s what happened when Scott visited The Ingraham Angle Monday night to defend his “skin in the game” tax proposal that is part of what he calls an “11-point plan to rescue America.”
Scott has come under quite a bit of criticism for his tax plan, including from Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. But for Ingraham, that’s reason to love it even more. She said in her introduction to the discussion, “Scott's plan is unabashedly populist, which is why McConnell is using one point in the plan to discredit the rest of it.”
She “forgot” to mention that that one point sticks it to millions of Americans while giving breaks to people like herself and Scott. The Institute on Taxation on Economic Policy finds that Scott’s plan would increase taxes by more than $1000 on average for Americans in the bottom 40 percent of the income distribution and by an average of $500 for the middle 20%, while leaving the tax rate for the top 1% of earners unaffected. “The majority of the overall funds raised by the tax increase would be paid for by the lowest-income Americans, with the bottom 40% of earners contributing 79% of the tax increase,” the institute concluded.
That’s not counting the fact that, as C&L’s Frances Legum recently pointed out, lower income Americans already pay payroll taxes, sales taxes and property taxes.
Yet, here’s Scott suggesting that less fortunate Americans are moochers – while pretending he’s not trying to prey on them:
SCOTT: I'm not raising anybody's taxes. But here's what's not fair. We have hardworking Americans, they're paying all these taxes, our retirees paid them. Who's not? We've got some billionaires not paying it, and we've got people that want free government stuff and they don't want to have any skin in the game. That's not fair.
So did “populist loving” Ingraham point out the true tax picture or how very un-populist this comment was? Heck no! She endorsed it. “If people pay, like even $100 in taxes a year, at least you know that’s what it is, paying taxes,” she said. Marie Antoinette Ingraham threw the masses a bone by adding, “You don’t want people to get bankrupt, obviously.”
Actually, lower- and middle-class Americans seem to be just collateral damage to Ingraham in her war against McConnell. She acknowledged that while he’s “wily” and “very, very smart,” he’s too much of an “old-style Bush Republican” on issues like globalization and trade with China. She gave McConnell credit for having “kept Merrick Garland, a radical, off the Supreme Court.” She added, “But he’s not a populist.”
Scott didn’t seem as interested in going after McConnell as in promoting himself as a savvy business guy. “I just think there's a difference of opinion,” Scott said about McConnell. “Some people don't want to have a plan. I'm a business guy. What do you do in business? You write a plan.”
Then, after misrepresenting his plan, Scott said, “I want to be held accountable.”