House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has been a vocal critic of the tax cuts Republicans passed last year, and she showed no signs of backing away from that stance Tuesday.
At an event Tuesday in Washington hosted by Politico, Pelosi was asked if she would like to institute a single-payer health care system and raise taxes if Democrats take control of the House in November, Pelosi was rather succinct in her answer.
“The second part there is accurate,” Pelosi said. “I do think we should revisit the tax legislation in a way that we always have, in a bipartisan, transparent way that the result is unifying for the country.
“I do object to what they did in the dark of night, speed of light put forth something that gives 83 percent of the benefits” to top earners and big corporations, Pelosi said of Republicans.
The National Republican Congressional Committee was quick to thank Pelosi for her comments, saying in a statement it appreciates Pelosi’s “honesty.”
It also said Pelosi’s words will be used frequently in campaign ads over the next six months.
“We told you over and over and now you’ve heard it straight from Nancy Pelosi’s mouth: If Democrats take back the House and she’s reinstalled as Speaker, your taxes will go up,” said Matt Gorman, the NRCC’s communications director. “The NRCC appreciates her honesty. Rest assured you’ll be seeing this video repeatedly this fall.”
A spokesman for the California Democrat said Republicans are misrepresenting Pelosi’s message.
“Once again, Republicans are desperate to misrepresent any effort to roll back their debt-exploding tax giveaways for big corporations and the wealthiest 1 percent as ‘raising taxes’ on middle class families,” said Henry Connelly, a Pelosi spokesman. “The fact is, while the GOP wrote a bill that ultimately raises taxes on 86 million middle-class families, Democrats want to strengthen middle-class tax cuts and make them permanent.
“As Leader Pelosi has frequently said, Democrats want to revisit the GOP tax legislation in a way that ‘would be bipartisan, open, transparent, and unifying as we go forward to strengthen middle-class tax cuts and to do so in a way that creates good paying jobs, promotes growth and reduces the deficit.’”
But while Pelosi remains critical of the tax cuts, new figures released by the Congressional Budget Office indicate the federal government took in a record $218 billion surplus in April.
The surplus was the result of the government collecting $515 billion in April while spending $297 billion. The April surplus far exceeds the second-best surplus on record, which was $189 billion in April 2001.
Critics says the tax cuts help the wealthiest Americans and corporations the most without giving enough relief to middle-class families. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the benefits are spread across income levels.
“Working Americans will see several tax benefits from the new law, including: lower tax rates; a doubling of the child tax credit; and the standard deduction nearly doubled. In addition, the tax penalty from the Obamacare mandate was repealed for individuals,” Ross wrote in an April 30 Op-Ed for CNBC.
Ross estimates the corporate tax cuts resulted in more than 5 million Americans receiving bonuses, raises or other benefits.
He also said the impacts of the tax cuts on small businesses will help middle-class families in other ways.
“Business owners throughout the country continue to praise tax reform, stating that the savings is allowing them to invest, raise wages, and hire more employees,” Ross wrote. “Small business confidence has reached record highs since passage of the bill.”
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