Tom Hebert

The IRS Is Wrong To Expand Audits of Conservation Easement Agreements

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Posted by Tom Hebert on Thursday, November 14th, 2019, 2:53 PM PERMALINK

The Internal Revenue Service announced this week that it plans a “significant increase” in audits for taxpayers engaged in conservation easements. This unfortunate development continues the IRS’s disturbing pattern of harassing taxpayers that have entered into easement agreements.

The fact is, taxpayer abuse of the conservation easement deduction is few and far between. A recent analysis of cases in which the IRS took taxpayers to court over easement valuations found that over 80 percent of taxpayers’ claimed valuations were upheld. 

The conservation easement deduction has existed for decades and incentivizes property owners to conserve land and historic sites by offering a charitable deduction. In order to claim the deduction, the taxpayer must agree to restrict their right to develop or alter the property. Organizations known as land trusts agree to monitor the restrictions placed on the property. 

The taxpayer typically can deduct up to 50 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI) in any given year and carry forward any unused deductions for up to 15 years.  

Bipartisan Congressional majorities have consistently reaffirmed the conservation easement deduction. Congress initially codified the provision in 1976 and extended the provision in 1977. It was then made permanent in the Tax Treatment and Extension Act of 1980. In 2006, Congress narrowed the definition of conservation easements and expanded the deduction to 50 percent of AGI. In 2015, Congress made the expansion permanent. 

Despite this clear Congressional intent, the IRS has recently subjected taxpayers to unnecessary scrutiny over the deduction. In late 2016, the Obama IRS issued Notice 2017-10, which made partnership donations of conservation easements “listed transactions.” This subjected taxpayers to burdensome new filing requirements and onerous compliance costs. The IRS has also taken taxpayers to court over easement deductions, routinely challenging a tax benefit that Congress has expressly provided without evidence of taxpayer abuse. 

It is unfortunate that the IRS has decided to move forward and subject taxpayers that utilize the deduction to more scrutiny. Moving forward, if lawmakers and the IRS want to reform the deduction, they should do so through the proper legislative process and ensure that existing easements are protected. This means rejecting any retroactive disallowance of the easement deduction given that it would punish taxpayers for decisions already taken and would undermine confidence in the tax code.

Photo Credit: Tim Evanson


Warren’s Wealth Tax Could Double the Size of the IRS

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Posted by Tom Hebert on Tuesday, November 12th, 2019, 11:05 AM PERMALINK

Elizabeth Warren’s proposed wealth tax could result in over 80,000 new full-time IRS agents, more than doubling the size of the IRS according to ATR analysis. 

A recent report from the left-of-center Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) suggests spending $5 billion to properly enforce and administer a wealth tax.

If this money was spent exclusively on IRS employees, it would be the equivalent of 80,800 new full time agents based on the average salary of $61,800. 

In FY 2018, the IRS used 73,519 full-time agents, meaning the Warren wealth tax could more than double the size of the IRS.  

Even IRS lifers are admitting that the Warren wealth tax would be nearly impossible to administer. In a Bloomberg report former IRS Commissioner Mark Everson said: “It would be difficult for the Service to get its arms around the wealth tax...The more money people have the more they tend to have in non-traditional assets.” 

Warren’s has proposed a wealth tax starting at 2 percent on Americans with assets above $50 million and 6 percent on taxpayers with more than $1 billion in assets. According to Warren’s analysis, this tax would raise taxes on American by $3.75 trillion over ten years – an extremely ambitious estimate that assumes high-earners do not relocate elsewhere.

Warren's wealth tax would empower IRS agents to keep a list of all household assets, an extremely invasive power. The Warren wealth tax also contains a 40% "exit tax." 

Even the Washington Post editorial board said this arrangement "conveys a certain authoritarian odor."

A wealth tax has failed every time it has been tried. In 1995, 15 OECD countries had a wealth tax. Today, only four still have a wealth tax: Switzerland, Belgium, Norway, and Spain. The 11 countries that repealed the wealth tax cited underwhelming revenue and extraordinary difficulty in collecting the tax as reasons for repeal.

The most recent country to repeal a wealth tax was France. The French wealth tax was imposed on assets over $1.4 million and led to an exodus of taxpayers from the country. In 2016 alone, 12,000 taxapayers left France, the highest outflow in the world. The year prior, in 2015, 10,000 millionaires left France for other countries, according to a report by New World Wealth.

The wealth tax proposed by Warren would be a nightmare to administer, would double the size of the IRS, would fail to generate revenue that supporters claim, and has failed every time it has been tried in the past. 

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


Four Things You Need To Know About the RSC Healthcare Plan

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Posted by Tom Hebert, Samantha Capriotti on Tuesday, November 12th, 2019, 9:00 AM PERMALINK

The Republican Study Committee recently released a framework to reform our nation’s healthcare system. The plan, entitled “A Framework for Personalized, Affordable Care,” provides a much-needed alternative to the radical government takeover of healthcare that the left is pushing. 

The left’s plan, which they disingenuously call “Medicare for All,” would kick 180 million Americans off of their private coverage overnight and require $32 trillion in new taxes over the next decade. Government-run healthcare would raise taxes on every American and lead to drastic reductions in the quality of healthcare. 

In contrast to this radical proposal, the RSC healthcare plan makes numerous improvements to the U.S. healthcare system that will ensure competition, access, and quality for every American. 

Here are four things you need to know about the RSC’s healthcare plan. 

Expands Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

HSAs are tax-advantaged savings accounts that gives patients choice and flexibility in paying for their health needs. HSAs are double-tax advantaged: the funds are not taxed when earned as income or as they accrue interest. HSAs are used in conjunction with low premium, high deductible health insurance plans and are used by over 25 million American families and individuals. 

The RSC plan expands HSAs by allowing individuals to use them to pay their healthcare premiums. The RSC plan also expands the accessibility and effectiveness of HSAs by eliminating the requirement that HSAs be tied to a high-deductible plan. The plan also increases the HSA maximum contribution limit and expands the scope of eligible health care expenditures. 

Importantly, the RSC plan allows working seniors and other Medicare recipients to contribute to an HSA. This will end the discrimination against working seniors who cannot be on Medicare if they choose to keep their HSA.

Expands Access to Innovative, Patient Centered Care

The RSC plan expands access to innovative care for American patients in several ways. 

The framework calls for expanding direct primary care — the facetime that patients share with doctors — without raising costs. The RSC plan will allow patients to use their HSAs to pay the $60 - $70 monthly fees that fund direct primary care.  

The proposal also contains reforms that allow individuals to increase their negotiation power and receive care through economies of scale. The plan promotes health sharing ministries, which allow members of nonprofits to pool their funds through monthly dues and to only fund programs for which they would need coverage. 

In addition to these reforms, the RSC codifies the Trump Administration’s expansion of short-term, limited duration plans into law. These plans are useful for consumers in between jobs or with temporary gaps in coverage. 

Strengthens Medicaid for Future Generations 

Medicaid is on an unsustainable path. Federal spending on the program has skyrocketed from $14 billion in 1980 to a projected $702 billion in 2029. Over the next decade, Medicaid expenditures on the Medicaid expansion population alone is projected to approach $938 billion. 

To streamline the program, the RSC healthcare plan calls for a moratorium on future Medicaid expansions and a phase out of the expansion’s enhanced FMAP rate. This ends the subsidization of able-bodied adults without dependents at the expense of the truly disadvantaged –– poor pregnant women, seniors, children, and the disabled. 

The RSC plan also replaces Medicaid’s open-ended entitlement structure with separate per capita grants to better serve Medicaid’s traditional beneficiaries. The plan allows for Medicaid to combine the Children’s Health Insurance Program with the Medicaid grant for children. A flex-grant would also allow states to subsidize the healthcare of low-income individuals, subject to work requirements. 

Protects Pre-Existing Conditions and Enhances Healthcare Portability

Healthcare portability — the ability of an individual to carry their healthcare protections with them — is a cornerstone of the RSC’s healthcare plan. Portability is essential to preventing breaks in coverage for individuals, where an individual could develop a condition that would serve as an impediment to getting reinsured. 

Most importantly, portability is a protection against individuals being denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions. The RSC plan provides a legal framework to ensure that coverage protections are portable. 

The RSC plan ensures that individuals that move from the employer marketplace to the individual marketplace do not need to exhaust COBRA coverage before entering the market with portability protections. The RSC plan also ensures that individuals seeking coverage in the individual marketplace could not be refused a plan due to health status, medical condition, claims experience, receipt of healthcare, medical history, genetic information, evidence of insurability, or disability.

Photo Credit: Güldem Üstün


Trump Economy Adds 128,000 Jobs in October

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Posted by Tom Hebert on Friday, November 1st, 2019, 11:00 AM PERMALINK

President Donald Trump’s economy added 128,000 jobs in October, easily beating industry expectations and showing that the Trump economic agenda continues to work for American workers. 

The Trump economy continued adding jobs at a record pace last month despite outside factors like the GM auto strike. This jobs report shattered industry expectations, as some economists estimated that the economy would only add 75,000 jobs in October. 

The unemployment rate rose slightly to 3.6 percent, a near-record 50 year low, and unemployment for African-Americans decreased by 0.1 percent. The labor force participation rate increased to 63.3 percent, meaning that the labor force has increased by over one million Americans in 2019. 

Wages also continued to grow, rising by 0.1 percent for a year-over-year 3 percent gain. 

The October jobs report also significantly revised reports from the previous few months, showing the resilience of the Trump economy. Jobs created in August rose from the reported 168,000 to 219,000. Jobs created in September rose from the reported 136,000 to 180,000. 

The strong October jobs numbers are continued evidence that the Republican Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is continuing to revitalize the economy nearly two years after Trump signed it into law. 

Businesses have responded to the tax cuts by giving employees higher wages and creating new employee benefit programs, while utility companies are passing tax savings onto consumers in the form of lower rates.

Families are also seeing direct tax reduction – a family of four with annual income of $73,000 (median family income) will see a tax cut of more than $2,058, a 58 percent reduction in federal taxes. In net, households are paying an average of 24.9 percent in lower taxes according to a report released by H&R Block based on their clients’ tax returns. 

Tax cuts and deregulation championed by the Trump Administration is continuing to deliver a prosperous economy for all Americans.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


Elizabeth Warren's Spooky 75% Death Tax

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Posted by Tom Hebert on Thursday, October 31st, 2019, 3:00 PM PERMALINK

Happy Halloween! Instead of dressing up as Pocahontas this year, 2020 Democrat Elizabeth Warren is dressing up as the Grim Reaper. 

Warren recently introduced spooky legislation that would tax Americans at death with a top rate of 75 percent.

Warren's legislation would impose a heavier tax burden at death by severely chopping the death tax exemption from the current $11.4 million down to $3.5 million. Warren's top death tax rate would be an astronomical 75 percent. 

Hillary Clinton also supported a version of this plan, and we all know how that turned out. 

Luckily, the Republican-passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act raised the death tax exemption, leading to countless small businesses and family farms being spared from dealing with the IRS agent at the same time they deal with the undertaker. 

Here's why we should repeal the spooky death tax for good: 

Repeal of the Death Tax will spur economic growth.

In 2016, the Tax Foundation estimated that repeal of the Death Tax would create 150,000 jobs. Additionally, the Joint Economic Committee reported that the Death Tax has suppressed over $1.1 trillion of capital in the United States’ economy since being introduced. Much of this comes from small businesses, who are the core of America’s economy. This loss of capital ultimately results in fewer jobs and lower wages for American workers.

The Death Tax is bad for jobs and repeal would give families a raise. Again according to the Tax Foundation the Death Tax is an economy killer. They have a macroeconomic “dynamic” model to see what killing the Death Tax would do to the job market. This model projects that killing the death tax would create 139,000 jobs, increase private business hours by 0.1 percent, and increase wages by 0.7 percent.

Numerous studies have found that majority of Americans oppose the Death Tax and support its repeal. For example, a recent report by NPR found that 76 percent of Americans support full, permanent repeal of the Death Tax.  

In addition, the Death Tax contributes a miniscule amount of revenue relative to the size of federal government. In all, it makes up only one half of one percent of all federal revenue. Because the Death Tax is so economically destructive, almost all the revenue lost would be offset by increased economic growth. As noted by the Tax Foundation, repealing the Death Tax would result in $240 billion in lower taxes over a decade. However, the economic growth created by repealing the Death Tax would produce $221 billion in federal revenue because of increased wages and more jobs.

Repeal of the Death Tax pays for itself. The same Tax Foundation report says that the death tax would increase the economy by 0.8 percent (or $137 billion in today’s dollars). Because this additional economic growth would be subject to taxation all its own, it would more than make up for the revenue lost by repealing the Death Tax–it would make up the $20 billion per year, plus yield an extra $8 billion per year on top of that. You heard that right–we’d actually collect more tax revenue if we stopped collecting the Death Tax.

Photo Credit: ATR


Trump Economy Continues To Over Perform

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Posted by Tom Hebert on Wednesday, October 30th, 2019, 2:08 PM PERMALINK

President Donald Trump’s economy has reached the longest expansion in U.S. history, beating market expectations and defying Democrats who have constantly worked to undermine Trump’s economic agenda from day one.  

Real GDP grew 1.9 percent in the third quarter of 2019, beating market expectations of 1.6 percent. The economy has now entered the 123rd month of continued expansion. 

The Trump economy is also beating the Obama economy in GDP growth: 

  • Average Obama quarter-to-quarter GDP growth was 1.9 percent 
     
  • Average Obama year-to-year GDP growth: 1.6 percent 
     
  • In 2016, the Obama economy averaged 1.6 percent growth. 
     
  • In 2017, the Trump economy average 2.4 percent growth.
     
  • In 2018, following passage of the Republican Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, GDP growth was 2.9 percent. 
     

American families are feeling the impact of the robust Trump economy. Average real disposable income is growing twice as fast in the Trump economy than it was under the Obama economy. 

Real median household income has also grown by $4,144 or 6.8 percent since President Trump took office, according to an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal.

This data is based on a report released by Sentier Research analyzing the Census Bureau’s monthly Current Population Survey.

The Trump economy is also outperforming other countries on the world stage. Among G7 countries, the U.S. is the only one with annual GDP growth exceeding 2 percent. 

These latest economic numbers show that the Trump economy continues to outpace the anemic Obama economy by most metrics.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


Senate Democrats Forcing Vote to Raise Healthcare Premiums

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Posted by Tom Hebert on Wednesday, October 30th, 2019, 9:30 AM PERMALINK

Senate Democrats are expecting to force a vote this week that will raise your healthcare premiums and restrict access to quality healthcare for all Americans. Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) wants to disallow states from obtaining a Section 1332 waiver, which has led to the only decrease in healthcare premiums since Obamacare was enacted.

Section 1332 waivers help states design healthcare systems that best fit their needs and escape the rigidity of one-size-fits-all, top-down federal healthcare. 

What is Section 1332? Obamacare’s Section 1332 established a waiver process for states to opt out of some of Obamacare’s most stringent and onerous provisions. This provision was designed to allow states the flexibility to experiment with healthcare approaches to best serve their residents. In 2015, Obama issued guidance that severely limited the ability of states to obtain these waivers. 

What did Trump’s guidance on Section 1332 do? In October 2018, Trump rescinded Obama’s 2015 guidance, empowering states with flexibility to work around Obamacare’s most burdensome mandates to make healthcare more affordable. Under current law, states can ask the Department of Health and Human Services for Section 1332 waivers to provide residents with greater healthcare options. 

How do states qualify for a waiver? The Trump administration has outlined two criteria for states to obtain a 1332 waiver: the state’s proposal must not increase deficits, and it must match the quality, costs, and coverage of the existing healthcare system. 

Why are Section 1332 waivers needed? Obamacare dramatically limited patient choice and forced Americans to purchase expensive, unaffordable healthcare plans. Over the past five years, average family premiums have increased by $742 a month, and narrow networks have increased from 54 percent in 2015 to 72 percent in 2019. 

Short of repealing Obamacare in its entirety, Section 1332 waivers are one of the only tools that have proven to lower healthcare premiums. Every state that has obtained a Section 1332 waiver has seen Obamacare premiums decrease. HHS approved 7 states for a waiver in 2019 – Alaska, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, and Wisconsin. 

According to the Heritage Foundation’s Doug Badger, Obamacare premiums in these states decreased by 7.5 percent between 2018 and 2019. In non-waiver states, premiums rose by 3.1 percent. 

A bipartisan set of states are pursuing Section 1332 waivers for 2020. Badger estimated that Obamacare premiums will decrease in these states as well. See below: 

                                      Source: Doug Badger, Heritage Foundation

Democrats have consistently attacked and undermined the Trump healthcare agenda since day one of his presidency. Instead of repealing one of the few avenues that states have to promote innovation and competition in their healthcare systems, we should support legislation that enacts more flexibility, not less.

With Warner’s resolution to nullfy Trump’s Section 1332 guidance, the left reaffirms its support for rising healthcare premiums and the failed Obamacare structure.

Photo Credit: Mark Warner - Flickr


Rahm Emanuel: Medicare for All An “Untenable Position”

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Posted by Tom Hebert on Tuesday, October 29th, 2019, 1:02 PM PERMALINK

President Barack Obama’s former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel slammed the Democrat party’s obsessive focus on socialized medicine in an appearance on ABC’s “This Week.” 

Click here to watch the video. 

The Democrat plan, which they disingenuously call “Medicare for All,” would lead to a dramatic reduction in access and quality of healthcare for all Americans. 

Emanuel started by throwing cold water on the left’s claims that their healthcare scheme would cover every person in the United States, including illegal immigrants: 

“We have taken a position so far, and the candidates have...on basically Medicare for all, which is, we're going to eliminate 150 million people's health care, and we're going to provide health care for people that have just come over the border.”

In reality, Emanuel slightly underestimates the damage –– Medicare for All would kick 180 million Americans off of their private coverage overnight. 

Emanuel goes on to explain the obvious political cost for Democrats that support government-run healthcare: 

“That is an untenable position for the general election...I just biked around Lake Michigan, nearly 1,000 miles, through Michigan and Wisconsin, two really important states. Nobody at a diner ran at me and said, take my healthcare away. Nobody. This is -- this is reckless as it relates to -- and you don't have to take the position to win the primary. And you're basically literally hindering yourself for the general election.”

It is safe to assume that Emanuel knows a thing or two about winning elections and vote-moving issues. After all, he was the chief strategist behind Democrats reclaiming the House of Representatives in 2006, and was most recently the Mayor of Chicago. 

Emanuel’s comments are indicative that liberals are starting to wake up to the grim realities of socialized medicine. A recent study from the liberal Urban Institute estimates that the plan would require $32 trillion in new or higher taxes over the next decade. 

Former Vice President and 2020 Democrat Joe Biden has also sounded the alarm on Medicare for all. Biden recently tweeted that the plan would require significant tax hikes on the middle class: 

"Let’s put this in perspective: if you eliminate every single solitary soldier, tank, satellite, nuclear weapon, eliminate the Pentagon and it would only pay for 4 months of Medicare for All. 4 months.

Where do the other 8 months come from? Your paycheck."

The fact is, there is no way to come close to paying for Medicare for All without dramatic tax increases on the middle class. The proposal released by Bernie Sanders contains $14 trillion in tax hikes, roughly 40% of the total cost of Medicare for All.

It is also important to note that a significant portion of Sanders’ $14 trillion tax increase relies on eliminating healthcare options for American families ($4.2 trillion) and a 7 percent tax on employers large and small ($3.5 trillion).

Some prominent Democrats are coming around to what conservatives have known for decades: socialized medicine will raise your taxes, decrease your access to quality healthcare, and destroy the U.S. healthcare system as we know it. Putting a new coat of paint on it and calling it “Medicare for All” doesn’t change this reality. 

Photo Credit: Daniel X. O'Neil


USMCA's Biologics Provision Is An Important Step Towards Stronger IP Protections

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Posted by Alex Hendrie, Tom Hebert on Monday, October 28th, 2019, 10:08 AM PERMALINK

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) represents a much-needed update to the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The global economy has changed significantly since the United States, Mexico, and Canada signed the NAFTA in 1992. The new USMCA recognizes this reality and modernizes trade relations between the three nations to better fit the new realities of the 21st century.

Importantly, the USMCA includes 10 years of data protection for lifesaving biologic medicines. This change will bring Mexico and Canada’s intellectual property protections up to U.S. standards that have existed for nearly a decade. 

Strong protection for biologics is critical. Biologics are the next generation of medicines, and are more costly and complex to produce than other cures. Data protection recognizes the extraordinary time, resources, and opportunity cost that innovators must devote to go through the FDA approval process. 

A recent study from the Tufts Center estimates that it costs an average of $2.6 billion over the course of 10 to 15 years to develop a new medicine. The USMCA’s 10-year period allows innovators to earn a positive rate of return on the immense costs associated with research, development, and the FDA approval process. The USMCA’s 10-year standard has bipartisan support and was signed into law by President Obama. 

America is a world leader in medical innovation. In 2017, the U.S. exported $51.2 billion in biopharmaceuticals. Such exports have grown 174 percent from 2002 to 2017. This research and development supports high-paying U.S. jobs across the country.

IP rights are also key to the U.S. economy at large. The U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Patent & Trademark Office found that IP-intensive industries contributed $6.6 trillion to the U.S. economy in 2014, or 38.2 percent of GDP. These industries directly and indirectly support 45.5 million jobs, account for $842 billion in merchandise exports, and generate $81 billion in service exports—well over half of all US exports.

While the USMCA will better ensure that North America remains a centerpiece of innovation, the agreement’s strong protection of IP rights is not universal. Many countries have policies that restrict innovation and punish ingenuity. 

As the Trump administration continues to negotiate better trade deals, the USMCA’s strong protections for biologics should serve as the model.

Photo Credit: Marco Verch


Democrats Expose Their Hypocrisy with SALT CRA Vote

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Posted by Tom Hebert on Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019, 5:13 PM PERMALINK

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) forced a floor vote today on a resolution that will repeal the Trump tax law’s cap on state and local tax deductions. While Democrats campaign on raising taxes on the wealthy, 42 Democrat senators proved their hypocrisy by voting for this massive tax break for their richest constituents. 

The Republican-passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) implemented a $10,000 cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions. The wealthy mainly took advantage of the unlimited SALT deduction. A recent report from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation shows that repealing the SALT cap would cut $40 billion in taxes for millionaires. In total, 94 percent of the tax breaks generated from ending the cap would be enjoyed by taxpayers making more than $200,000 a year. 

Functionally, the unlimited SALT deduction created two different federal tax rates: one for the wealthy in blue states, and one for the middle class in red states. Technically, a New Yorker with a $20,000 state tax bill had access to the same SALT deduction as a Nebraskan with a $5,000 state tax bill. In a pre-TCJA world, the Nebraskan would take the standard deduction instead of the SALT deduction, while the New Yorker would itemize and take the full SALT deduction. This creates a de facto subsidy for blue states. 

During the TCJA’s passage, Schumer said that eliminating the deduction “socks it to the middle class,” and called on fellow Democrats to “not go along with a tax plan that includes a tax cut for the folks who need it least.”

Hypocritically, Schumer is now pushing a tax scheme that helps those who need it least. 42 Democrats voted for the Schumer scheme to give the wealthiest blue state taxpayers a massive federal tax break:

  • Sen. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.)

  • Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.)

  • Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.)

  • Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio)

  • Sen. Maria Cantwell (Wash.)

  • Sen. Benjamin Cardin (Md.)

  • Sen. Tom Carper (Del.)

  • Sen. Bob Casey (Penn.)

  • Sen. Chris Coons (Del.)

  • Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.)

  • Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.)

  • Sen. Tammy Duckworth (Ill.)

  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.)

  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.)

  • Sen. Maggie Hassan (N.H.)

  • Sen. Martin Heinrich (N.M.)

  • Sen. Mazie Hirono (Hawaii)

  • Sen. Doug Jones (Ala.)

  • Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.)

  • Sen. Angus King (Maine)

  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.)

  • Sen. Patrick Leahy (Vt.)

  • Sen. Joe Manchin (W.V.)

  • Sen. Ed Markey (Mass.)

  • Sen. Bob Menendez (N.J.)

  • Sen. Jeff Merkeley (Ore.)

  • Sen. Chris Murphy (Conn.)

  • Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.)

  • Sen. Gary Peters (Mich.)

  • Sen. Jack Reed (R.I.)

  • Sen. Jacky Rosen (Nev.)

  • Sen. Brian Schatz (Hawaii)

  • Sen. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.)

  • Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.)

  • Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.)

  • Sen. Tina Smith (Minn.)

  • Sen. Debbie Stabenow (Mich.)

  • Sen. Jon Tester (Mont.)

  • Sen. Tom Udall (N.M.)

  • Sen. Chris Van Hollen (Md.)

  • Sen. Mark Warner (Va.) 

  • Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.) 

Schumer’s skin in the game is clear: in 2015, before the SALT cap, Schumer wrote off $58,000 in state and local taxes. 

Since President Trump signed the TCJA into law, blue-state Democrats have worked overtime to find ways for their wealthiest residents to avoid the SALT cap. Governor Andrew Cuomo attempted an end-run around the cap by allowing New Yorkers to pay their local property taxes into a state-run charitable fund. 

The IRS recently issued new rules and guidance to stop these blue-state schemes. By voting to nullify the IRS guidance, Schumer and 41 other Democrats are aiding and abetting blue-state taxpayers that commit federal tax arbitrage by circumventing the SALT cap. 

Photo Credit: Senate Democrats - Flickr


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