That's rich! Republicans suddenly believe that one percenters are barely struggling to be in the middle class, party officials revealed.
On Thursday, House Republicans issued a fact sheet about their new tax cut plan that referred to Americans earning $450,000 a year as “low- and middle-income” — even though that income level would put those taxpayers in the top 0.05% of all individual Americans.
The median household income in the United States is $59,039, after all.
The GOP made the announcement as part of the rollout of the tax cut plan, saying they would cut tax rates from 39.6 percent to 35 percent for those $450,000-earning middle class members — but the announcement was quickly overshadowed by the Republicans' bizarre understanding of wealth.
"Did somebody make a mistake?" laughed AFL-CIO Policy Director Damon Silvers when told of the income classifications by the GOP. "[Republicans] think that the income level of the top one percent is lower- and middle-class. This is a world where if you make less than $500,000, you don't exist."
There is no formal definition of the American middle class, but the Tax Policy Center puts its “middle quintile” between $48,300 and $85,600 a year.
Sixty percent of Americans say that the tax plan favors the wealthy, according to a new poll. Democrats are calling the bill a “Trojan Horse,” that helps the rich under the guise of aiding the middle class.
“This is a middle-class con job,” said Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, a democrat.
It’s a bill that will “benefit the wealthy and the powerful to the exclusion of the middle class,” according to Senator Chuck Schumer of New York.
Republicans are also concerned. 63 percent of Republicans believe that deficit reduction is more important than tax cuts for corporations, and 75 percent said it was more important than tax cuts for the wealthy, according to a survey.
“The optics don’t look very good...with 39.6 going to 35,” said GOP Senator David Perdue of Georgia.
Republican strategist John Weaver agreed. This “does not reflect the hopes and aspirations of Main Street Republicans around the country,” he said.
Some GOP Senators don’t mind the implications. Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama took a trickle-down approach. “People with money save money, create jobs, create risk," he said. "People with no money — I’ve been there — create nothing. You’re trying to live, to survive.”
It should be pointed out that Shelby, who has been in government since 1970 and has been a U.S. senator since 1986, has an estimated net worth of $4.2 million, according to data from Roll Call.