Montana senator Jon Tester says he will defeat the GOP's 'awful plan' for a national sales tax
- Republicans have proposed replacing the income tax with a national consumption tax.
- Their legislation would get rid of the income tax, estate tax, and payroll tax — and abolish the IRS.
One of the first bills floated by the new House GOP majority aims to get rid of the income tax and swap in a national consumption tax instead. It's a proposal that's attracted ridicule from President Joe Biden, and is highly unlikely to ever move forward.
Senator Jon Tester, a Democrat from Montana, particularly wants to make sure it never happens.
"Montana has no sales tax and we don't need the federal government imposing one on us," Tester wrote in a Thursday tweet. "House Republicans' plan to tack a 30% national sales tax on every good from gas to groceries would skyrocket costs for Montana's working families. I will defeat this awful plan."
Under Georgia Rep. Buddy Carter's Fair Tax Act, the income tax, alongside the payroll tax and estate tax, would be replaced by a 23% consumption tax on gross payments — and the IRS would be abolished.
"Armed, unelected bureaucrats should not have more power over your paycheck than you do," Carter said in a release.
A national sales tax would likely be more regressive than the current income tax, hitting lower- and middle-income Americans harder. As the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center notes, lower-income households spend a larger share of that income than higher-income households, so they'd be disproportionately shouldering the burden of a level tax.
It would also fall harder on the shoulders of parents. As the Tax Policy Center notes, "at any given income level, families with children have higher consumption requirements than those without, so switching to a consumption tax would present an inherent disadvantage for families with kids."
The Biden administration has essentially laughed off the GOP proposals, with the president saying he'd veto any legislation like it. White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates said that it would "shift the federal tax burden onto the American middle class and working people."
And Biden, when asked about the sales tax proposal, said: "Go home and tell your moms, they're going to be really excited about that."
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