Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) admitted in a CNN interview Sunday that President Trump’s tax bill giving a tax cut to the vast majority of middle-class Americans is “a very good thing.”
CNN host Jake Tapper asked Sanders if 91% of the middle-class receiving tax cuts is a good thing despite tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy.
“I understand you’re not a fan of the tax bill, you don’t like the large corporate tax cut and you’re not happy with the tax cuts for the wealthy, but according to the Tax Policy Center, next year 91% of middle income Americans will receive a tax cut – isn’t that a good thing?” Tapper asked.
“Yeah, it is a very good thing, and that’s why we should have made the tax breaks for the middle class permanent,” Sanders said, adding that most of the benefits would go to the “top 1%” after ten years.
“Should we focus on the needs of the middle class? We should have. But the bulk of the benefits in this legislation go to large profitable corporations and to millionaires and billionaires.”
Ten years is plenty of time to tweak certain aspects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for middle America’s benefit, according to several lawmakers.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) responded to Sanders’ interview on Twitter, offering to team up on legislation to make the middle class tax cuts permanent in January.
“I agree, @BernieSanders — let’s make the middle-class tax cuts permanent. Join me, we’ll co-sponsor legislation (I’ve already got it drafted) that does exactly that, and we’ll get it passed in January!” Cruz tweeted on Wednesday.
I agree, @BernieSanders — let's make the middle-class tax cuts permanent. Join me, we'll co-sponsor legislation (I've already got it drafted) that does exactly that, and we'll get it passed in January! https://t.co/7A3Wg6c4M9
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) December 27, 2017
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) echoed Cruz’s call, saying Congress would vote for such a measure if Democrats were on board to help it pass.
Jake Tapper on CNN: [N]ext year, 91% of middle-income Americans will receive a tax cut. Isn’t that a good thing?
Bernie Sanders: Yes, it is a very good thing. And that’s why we should have made the tax breaks for the middle class permanent.(h/t WSJ)
We will if Ds will vote yes.
— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) December 26, 2017
Interestingly, if just 8 Democrats had voted for the bill in the Senate, tax cuts for individuals would have been made permanent, because Republicans wouldn’t have had to invoke a procedure called reconciliation to pass the bill with a simple majority, which sets limited timelines to the measures.
In other words, if the Senate had passed the bill with 60 votes, the sunset clause attached to the tax cuts would have been waived.