Republican Senator Introduces Yet Another Tax Plan to Benefit the Rich

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Dylan Matthews reports today that Sen. Mike Lee (R–Utah) has introduced a new tax plan. This is something that all the presidential candidates felt obligated to do back in 2012 as a way of signaling their fealty to the rich, but since there’s no election coming up anytime soon it’s not clear why Lee has decided to do this right now.

In any case, his plan reduces the number of tax brackets even though tax brackets have nothing at all to do with the complexity of the tax code. What it does do is give him an excuse to raise rates on the middle class and reduce rates on the rich. In addition, his plan leaves the current low capital gains rates and estate tax rates alone (good for the rich) and leaves the current high payroll taxes alone as well (bad for the poor). Put this all together, and the almost certain outcome is that the middle class would pay a little less; the upper middle class would pay somewhat more; and the rich would enjoy a big tax cut. In other words, it’s a pretty standard Republican plan.

I guess the good news is that it’s not quite as outrageously favorable toward the rich as all the plans that were released during campaign season. But aside from that, it’s hard to see what other merits this plan has.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest