McConnell not concerned for middle class

Published 12:16 pm Tuesday, September 26, 2017

On Sept. 19, the office of Sen. Mitch McConnell issued a press release related to his call for “tax reform”.

Part of his release states: “… our tax code … incentivizes companies to ship good American jobs overseas.”

And: “After eight years of a heavy-handed Obama economy in which it often seemed only the ultra-wealthy could get ahead, it’s time to help middle class working families and small businesses get ahead.”

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Perhaps it would be helpful to clarify these two points.

First, the U.S. tax code actually incentivizes companies to send their profits overseas, hiding them from the taxes which those companies are obligated to pay. While the highest tax bracket for corporations now is 35 percent, only a small fraction of companies pay that amount. In fact, a good many of the highest profit corporations in the country actually pay no federal taxes at all, some even getting yearly tax rebates despite netting billions in profits.

Between 2008 and 2015, 18 Fortune 500 companies, including General Electric, International Paper and Pacific Gas and Electric received federal tax rebates for all those years despite generating huge profits.

So, rather than sending jobs overseas — which many companies are also doing — the tax code as presently constituted appears to actually be encouraging American companies to gouge the American public through indirect subsidies of tax rebates.

If McConnell really wants to fix the tax code, fix that!

Second, as to the contention that the Obama administration was concentrating on seeing to the well-being of the wealthy, why was it that the Senate, which gained a Republican majority in 2014, did nothing to mitigate the situation during the past two-and-a-half years?

If the senator was so disturbed about what he proclaims, he has had that time already to do something about it and has failed to do so.

The only reason he is trying to make an issue of tax reform now is the upcoming mid-term elections and Republicans are looking frantically for subjects to try to convince the electorate they are actually doing something for the average individual.

Further, McConnell does not exactly have a stellar track record as being an advocate for the middle class. It is he who has gathered millions of dollars for his own campaigns and for his fellow Republicans throughout his long tenure of office through his developed contacts with wealthy donors.

His major emphases in the last several years have been his stated desire to make President Obama a one-term president, to repeal Obamacare, to keep Obama from appointing a replacement to the Supreme Court and to fabricate a mythical “war on coal.”

Now he is taking another shot at repeal of the Affordable Care Act, fast-tracking it through the Senate so the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) won’t have time to produce a report showing what the impact of the proposed Graham-Cassidy plan will be on those who have managed to secure health insurance through the ACA.

No, McConnell is not the least interested in seeing the middle class get ahead in this country.

By 2014, he had already voted some 15 times against raising the federal minimum wage, while his own wage has increased six times.

Don’t be influenced by McConnell’s crocodile tears shed over the middle class.

Those tears represent nothing more than smoke and mirrors.

Chuck Witt is a retired architect and a lifelong resident of Winchester. He can be reached at