Rand Paul criticizes GOP tax plan for increasing middle class taxes

Rand Paul criticizes GOP tax plan for increasing middle class taxes
(Cincinnati Enquirer, Gary Landers)

FOX19 - The Republican Party is in the early days of shifting gears to tax reform and the effort could already be dead on arrival.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who objected to his party's last major effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, criticized the tax-reform framework released by the Trump administration after a GOP think tank found many middle-class taxpayers could see their taxes rise significantly to offset the tax breaks proposed for wealthy Americans.

"This is a GOP tax plan? Possibly 30% of middle class gets a tax hike? I hope the final details are better than this," Paul said in a tweet.

Last week, an analysis from the Tax Policy Center found the GOP's plan could leave a $2.4 trillion hole in federal revenue over the next decade, with the bulk of the benefits going to the wealthiest Americans. The elimination of the estate tax, which only hits 0.2 percent of Americans, would cost an additional $240 billion. The tax proposal was not tied to any plans to reduce government spending to offset the additional debt the tax cuts would bring.

The projections found nearly 30 percent of those in the middle class would see their taxes increase due to the changes in deductions and exemptions many Americans in the middle class rely on to deflate their tax bills.

The TPC's analysis found that by 2027, roughly 30 percent of taxpayers with income between $50,000 and $150,000 would see a tax increase under the Republican framework. Overall, about 25 percent of taxpayers would pay higher taxes by 2027 according to the TPC's findings.

Republicans have little margin for error in the Senate as they seek to whip votes to get something done. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn) has also voiced skepticism and the party can only afford to lose two votes.  If Paul abandons ship over tax reform, the effort could spell doom for the GOP's agenda in 2017 — meaning the party could go into an election year without a single major legislative victory after the botched healthcare effort.

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