At Press Conference, Portman Sheds Light on Democrats’ Massive Tax Break for Wealthy

Over Two-thirds of Millionaires Will Receive a Tax Cut Under the Proposal

December 1, 2021 | Portman Difference

Senator Portman delivered remarks at a press conference this afternoon outlining his concerns with the SALT tax provision in Democrats’ massive tax and spending proposal. During his remarks, he pointed out that the real cost of the Democrats’ proposal will be more than $4 trillion because many of the programs are unlikely to sunset, two-thirds of millionaires will receives a tax cut under the proposal and the SALT cap increase will cost as much as $100 billion more than the Child Tax Credit, which Democrats claim is the cornerstone of their entire spending bill.

A transcript of his remarks can be found below and a video can be found here.

“Thank you. I think Senator Hoeven has said it well. You know, I don't think any of us expected to be able to support legislation that would be a huge new spending increase, $1.9 trillion back in March. And this one really is over $4 trillion because you have to assume that some of these popular programs will not be sunset, as they never are sunset here in the Congress. So it's unprecedented in terms of the spending, the largest bill ever.

“And then in terms of taxes, what a terrible time to raise taxes on the American economy and the American worker, American families. So I don't think we expected to support it, any of us. But I think we're really shocked by how bad it is and particularly the fact that what they have done, I don't know if they meant to do this or not, was provide a huge tax cut for wealthy Americans. 

“Let me give you a data point that is kind of shocking. Two-thirds of millionaires, people making over a million dollars a year, will get a tax cut under this legislation. Two-thirds of people making over a million bucks a year will get a tax cut, primarily because of the SALT cap being increased, but other reasons as well. Actually, the number is over 68 percent. So it's almost 70 percent. And if you make $30,000 a year, only 30 percent of people get a tax cut in the first year. after the first year, it's about 10 percent and goes down from there. So think about that. 

“They're putting forward a bill that not only has this gargantuan new spending and all these tax increases, but the benefit of it goes to the higher end. And I don't think people think that's fair. And so I do hope that the American people look at this and understand that by putting more stimulus in the economy, of course, you're going to increase the demand side, therefore, inflation. So that's a huge issue.

“People I represent are primarily concerned about inflation right now. Of course, we don't want to put taxes on the economy right now as we're trying to get out of this pandemic. But it's even worse than that because it's so skewed toward benefits at the top end. Again, almost 70 percent of those people make over a million bucks a year get a tax cut. If you make $30,000 a year, 30 percent, get a tax cut in the first year, and after that, it's 10 percent and then less in the succeeding years. So it's a shock to me. 

“Here's the other point that I've been looking at that, I think, is very interesting. The cost of the SALT cap increase is somewhere between $230 billion and $285 billion, depending on which analysis you look at. But it doesn't matter which analysis you look at. It's still $100 billion more for the SALT cap than for the cornerstone social policy in their legislation, which is the Child Tax Credit. 

“So when you look at this, the Child Tax Credit is getting $100 billion less than the SALT cap. The SALT cap goes again skewed towards the wealthiest. So, I don't know. Maybe they meant to do this, that'd make it even more surprising to me. I'm not sure they did, but this is what it is, and this is what the American people are going to judge: Does this benefit me? Is this the right thing for our country at this time of high inflation and struggling to get out of this pandemic? I think it's exactly the wrong policy prescription right now, and I hope people will rise up and let folks know in the House and Senate that this is just not smart. This is not the right way for our country to proceed.”