Nancy Pelosi never lets a good crisis go to waste, which is precisely why she’s working so hard now to try to secure tax cuts—yes, you read that right, tax cuts—for residents in states traditionally controlled by the Democratic Party.
According to multiple media reports, Pelosi is now calling for future coronavirus-related stimulus packages to include eliminating or increasing the cap for state and local taxes (SALT).
Under current law, as established in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by Republicans and the Trump administration, taxpayers can receive a deduction worth as much as $10,000 for state and local taxes, but no more.
Pelosi wants to remove it or expand the cap so that tax filers can deduct more of their state and local tax bills when filing their federal tax returns.
While that might sound like a free-market tax reform, it’s most certainly not. State and local taxes vary substantially, which means the SALT tax deduction benefits those people who live in higher-tax regions significantly more than those who live in lower-cost, lower-taxed parts of the country.
In practice, eliminating or expanding the SALT tax deduction cap would mostly benefit wealthier filers in blue states, because, generally speaking, those are the parts of the country where the state and local taxes are the highest.
Although a Pelosi spokesperson said the tax deduction would be tailored to benefit the middle class, the truth is, most middle-class tax filers wouldn’t receive any benefits from the elimination of the SALT cap.
As Fox News reported recently, “A 2019 report from the Joint Committee on Taxation projected that of those who would face lower tax liability from the elimination of the SALT cap – which only affects those who itemize tax deductions – 94 percent earn at least $100,000.”
As usual, Pelosi and her liberal friends in Congress are proving that they care a lot more about scoring political points that sticking to their principles.
PHOTO: Speaker of U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi led a U.S. congressional delegation to Ghana from July 28 -31, 2019 to commemorate the “Year of Return” and mark 400 years since the first enslaved Africans arrived in Jamestown, Virginia. Photo provided by U.S. Embassy in Ghana. It’s in the public domain.
Justin Haskins is editor-in-chief of StoppingSocialism.com. Haskins is a widely published writer and political commentator, the senior editor and founder of The Henry Dearborn Institute for Liberty, and the editorial director and research fellow at The Heartland Institute, a national free-market think tank. Follow him on Twitter @JustinTHaskins.